Sunday, 15 July 2012

Book review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
By Kristin Cashore
Publish Date: October 1st 2008
Publisher: Harcourt
Number of pages: 471

Goodreads’ description:
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...

My review:
A kickass no-nonsense heroine in a magical world with powers you’ve never seen before? Yes please!
I have a thing for fantasy stories set in medieval settings. This is one of my favorites.
The story is full of adventure, action and romance. And the right amount of it. Albeit some of the fighting scenes were a bit too long in my opinion.  

This book reminds me a lot of Poison Study, which is one of my favorite books. The characters, the kingdoms and the magical powers are very different, but both worlds are both very captivating.

The character development for Katsa is very remarkable. To start with she’s hostile and lets herself be used to do evil things in another’s name. She grows and opens her eyes to a whole different world. She wants to use for Grace for good things instead of being a weapon used for evil. She learns to interact and take care of other people.

Her love interest, Prince Po, is not some cliché too-hot-for-his-own-good moron she keeps ogling at. He’s her equal. We need that in more YA novels. They have a real and healthy relationship. They support each other and lend their strength to the other. 

The sequel is sitting om my shelf. I just realized Katsa and Po won't be the main characters in that book and that saddens me. I'll pick it up soon and see if Cashore can deliever it again with new characters.

4/5 happy stars from me!