Graceling By Kristen Cashore

Friday, 2 August 2013

5099602Series: Graceling Realm #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: January 22nd 2009
Source: Bought
Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars
Synopsis: In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. 
Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa’s life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid’s father is kidnapped she investigates, and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own? The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out – but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king...

First Line: In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.

I had heard about this book though a number of other book bloggers and after all the positive reviews I decided to check it out myself. I wasn't to sure about it in the beginning but once I got into the story it consumed me. I have found books that are set in variations of the dark ages tend to be very good, it reminded me greatly of The Study Series by Maria Snyder which is another favourite of mine. I found the concept of Gracelings wholly unique and hugely entertaining. The book is long but the pace of the plot makes you wish it were much longer and  for one am excited to get into the next in the series.

The characters in Graceling were all expertly crafted and not one was any less than fully developed, not even the hugely minor characters. Katsa quickly became one of my favourite heroines (trust me its hard to do). She was brave and strong but the author didn't fall prey to making her heartless and cold as many do when trying to make a badass female character. Another character I really liked was Po, despite the peculiar name he actually turned out very likeable and his good humour balanced out Katsa's seriousness at times. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them. You get to meet an additional main character, Bitterblue, later into the book. I can't say much about her without spoiling it but I can tell you that she is a very interesting character. Of the minor characters I especially loved Raffin, he was smart, eccentric and nothing like you'd expect the kings son to be like - we didn't see much of him but he did leave a lasting impression.

One of my favourite things about this book is the flawless world building. With such rich description I felt like I was actually there more than a few times. I can definitely see why this had such huge hype and, being yet another fantasy book that I've enjoyed despite not liking the genre,  it's shown me that fantasy is not bad at all - the ones I had been reading just were. I would recommend this to lovers of fantasy and those who are not alike. If it can convert me, it can convert you!

My Favourite Quote:
“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?” 

1 People dared to comment.:

Danielle said...

I still can't believe I have yet to read a Cashore book! This one sounds great, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yay for awesome world building!!

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