Saturday, August 6, 2011
Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
How I found it/why I read it: This is one of those reads I just kept hearing about and had to get my hands on.
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.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the character growth in Katsa, especially the growth in the first part. Above everything else, I think that this book focuses on Katsa and as she comes to find her true self, and not what others have made her to be. Po (despite the name that always made me think of Mulan and Teletubbies) also made a swoon-worthy love interest. Cashore also describes details of setting so well, I could just picture the type of location they would shoot for a movie. Around the middle, however, it starts to slow, and for quite a few pages. Overall though, there was always something interesting going on.
Other information: There is a companion novel Fire to Graceling and another companion novel is in progess, tenatively titled Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore's website is here.