Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Source: Purchased from the Sony E-Book Store
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
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.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I’ve been hearing great things about Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Fire, which has been called a “companion” to Graceling. While it is not necessary to read them in order, I decided I wanted to go ahead and give Graceling a try.
I have to say, Graceling wasn’t what I expected at all. It is an extremely creative novel, and Cashore manages to avoid many of the YA fantasy clichés. She really has created something new and entirely unique with Graceling. I was extremely impressed with her imagination, as well as her ability to create a vivid world merely with her words.
I really liked the character of Katsa. The novel had some heavy issues at its center which she faced through the course of the novel. What is the nature of free will? What does it mean when your talent is killing people – does it make you a bad person? It makes for an interesting and thought provoking read.
While it did keep my interest, Graceling moved somewhat slowly for me. I had some trouble getting through it for some reason. It was just in no way what I was expecting. While I think that’s a good thing, it did throw me for a loop and the novel did move more slowly because of it. Still, I really enjoyed this novel. If you’re a fan of YA fantasy or are looking to start reading the genre, I definitely recommend Graceling.