Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

Kristin Cashore

Publication Date: October 1st 2008

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 472

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

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

     With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

During college I had a default birthday/Christmas present, and that was a Barnes and Nobles or Amazon gift card. Graceling was a purchase from one of those gift cards. I read the synopsis on some review site and it captured my imagination. I needed to read it, so I did, multiple times.

Graceling happens to be one of the books in my top ten favourites. I have read it so many times that it has become warped and I know have to wait a time between this last reading and the next one, because I have it memorized by heart which tends to not make good reading.

Graceling happens to have one of the most interesting world building and characters that I have ever read. The character of Katsa, and the way relationships are approached in Cashore's books are revolutionary. It is obvious that Cashore is more forward thinking in her way of doing love stories as they are not so clean cut, and don't always end traditionally.

Katsa as a character goes through so much growth, while still being so strong to begin with. She is a character that I look up to and would love for my children to read as a good example of representing a woman. She is living in a restrictive medieval society, yet is still shown to be strong.

What I also enjoy is Po, the "love interest" so to say is a supporting role, rather then a manly take over and save the day role. In fact Katsa kicks his butt several times a day it seems (I adore their relationship).

The pacing and prose matched the story and character well in my opinion and it made it very hard to put the book down, despite its length. And somehow, although the pacing is fast, the plot takes its time and explores around the situation. There is an overall goal to the plot, yet where we end up is not where we expect and everything ends up being so much more dire than originally thought.

All fantasy readers, read this book, it is an excellent piece of literature, there is a reason it has been so well received as a book. It features a strong female character filled with a lot of depth and many other characters with their own personalities, issues and secrets.



Kari Po-Ku ▲ said...

I haven't read this one, but I'm looking forward to read this soon. Fantastic review! :)

Kari Po-Ku Reads

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