Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Monday, December 21, 2009

Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

A young adult fantasy story revolving around Katsa, the niece to King Randa, who is "graced" with the gift of killing. As Katsa grows up she is forced to be an enforcer for her uncle. In effort of secret rebellion Katsa and some loyal nobles from across the seven kingdoms form a council to make sure that peace is kept behind the kings' backs. On one mission for the council to recover the grandfather of the king of Lienid, Katsa meets Po and her life changes forever.

I loved this book. I read it really slowly as to savor it and so that it wouldn't be over too quickly. Katsa is a very strong female character who struggles with her grace until she realizes that instead of having the gift of killing she actually has the gift of...(I'm not going to spoil it for you, if you would like to know leave me a comment and I will get back to you). Although a bit of a love story there is a lot more action then gushy romance. It was great having a strong male character in Po who was confident in who he was and did not need to change, tame, reform or anything else our heroine. I feel that there are almost two different stories in the book, the first half is about Katsa at home and her struggling with her life there. In the second half she has defied her uncle and is on the road with Po on a mission to find out which king kidnapped his great grandfather. The two stories do blend together quite well but there is a slight disconnect in my mind between the two. The writing flows very quickly and it is easy to get caught up in the story. The descriptions of the different kingdoms and of Katsa's fights are wonderful, just enough detail to have a very vivid picture of this world and not so much that it becomes boring or monotonous. Overall an excellent read for girls 12-16+.

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