Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: Graceling

Book: Graceling (Kristin Cashore)
Stand-Alone or Series:  Series, The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy  #1)
Pages: 471 
Genre: Young Adult
Preview with Google Books
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, and in her case horrifying, 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.
 I loved this book- it is easily my favorite book in a long time. Honestly, words cannot express how I feel about this book. The characters are everything they should be; dynamic, original and extremely fun to follow. The stor begins with Katsa; who due to her Grace, is an extreme fighter - probably the best in all of the seven kingdoms. Her Uncle, a King, makes her do his bidding and therefore she is extremely feared throughout the kingdom. But Katsa doesn't want to be just a thug, so she begins the Council; a secret organization that helps people in need. When the book opens up Katsa is in the middle of one of the Council's missions to save an old Lienid man who has been kidnapped. This is where she meets the other main character, Prince Po, and the story takes off.

Katsa is everything a heroine should be - she is a fierce warrior, has a kind heart and feels guilt. She develops so much throughout the story, she evolves into a woman in more ways than one over the course of the book. She starts out immensely lonely, with only a few friends. Most people are afraid of her Grace and cannot get past it. This creates a lot of sympathy for her character. I always find it amazing when I find myself reading a book about someone who does horrid things, and I am completely taken to the character. It is a sign of a terrific author when that happens; when I feel fiercely loyal to a character who begins the story as basically an assassin.

I found the plot and pacing to be phenomenal. The book grabs hold of you in the first few pages and doesn't let up until the end. Katsa's story is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, loyalty and bravery. You cross forests, mountains and seas with her and encounter plenty of surprises along the way. The story is never short on plot twists, but they aren't those aggravating ones that I hate. I cannot exactly explain what I mean - but the plot twists fit in the story, they aren't outlandish and out of place. Do you know what I mean? Nothing is more irritating to me then something coming out of left-field that does not fit with the story or characters. 

I cannot wait to read the next book in the trilogy Fire, when I was halfway through with Graceling, I put Fire on hold at the library. I am desperate to know what happens to Katsa and Prince Po. If you haven't read this book, please go pick up a copy of Graceling. I was hesitant at first, because I was afraid of being let down. But I wasn't; I loved it more than I thought possible.


Anonymous said...

When I bought this book at my local bookstore, the owner let me have a discount just because she said it was such an awesome book. And I bought it hardback. So thanks to her and you, I'm definitely reading this book :) Great review!

Gaby G said...

You are right, this book is awesome! I hope you like FIRE too...I loved it :)

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