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Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

My review: In short, I thought this book was beautiful. I immediately fell in love with the story and the seven kingdoms it takes place in. While in the beginning, it was a little difficult to keep track of which character was who, i quickly became acquainted with everyone and their place in Katsa's, the main character, life.
There was really only one part of the book that I felt I could have done without as I didn't feel it really had any relevance to the story, but other than that, I remained interested in the story the entire time I was reading. I appreciated the twists and turns the plot took and had a hard time putting the book down every time I had to stop reading. The thought of  a Graceling (someone who is "graced" since childhood with a special skill) in and of itself made for such an interesting topic but the way Kristin built a story around it just made for an all around excellent book.
Aside from the story, I think my favorite part of this book were the characters. I had no problem rooting for the heroes and hating the enemies and I felt each character was very strong and all were very relevant to the story line. Katsa quickly became one of my all time favorite heroines. (Which is saying something because I'm super picky about my heroines.) And Po. Oh, Po! I think the world would be a better place with a real-life Po in its midst. But even the sub-characters, Raffin, Bitterblue, Oll - all were likable and easily found a place in my book-loving heart.
As far as the writing goes, I really loved Kristin Cashore's "voice". She kept things fairly simple even though the story had some complexity to it. She also did a great job with making the characters relatable (I'm saying that's a word!) even though they live in a different time and place. Her writing is very easy to read but I felt still had a certain level of maturity to it that helped keep up its YA categorization. And there's a little bit of everything in this book: romance, struggle, heartbreak, suspense, action, and growth. It really is a great story.

If you're looking for a meaty book to snag your attention, I'd recommend this one. (Some parts of this book may not be suitable for younger readers).

Happy reading.

1 comment:

lindsay b. said...

This definitely sounds like my kind of book. I've found it hard to connect with the characters in the books I've read recently. Thanks for the recommendation :)