Author: Kristin Cashore
Page Count: 471 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: October 1st 2008
Find it on Goodreads: Graceling
Source: Purchased (Secondhand/Library Sale)Rating: 5/5
His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....
Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.
Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.
In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is 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.
My Thoughts: Absolutely amazing.
I haven't read a lot of fantasy lately and I feel the need to get back into it. Graceling was an incredible book that contained a world so unique and captivating that I couldn't bear to put it down. I loved the characters and adored the world Cashore created.
When Bitterblue came out last year, so many people were so excited. It caused a huge buzz in the book world and I was utterly confused. I had only briefly heard of Graceling and wanted to know more about it. However, it did not seem like the type of book I was willing to pay full price for. Whenn I found it at the library sale though, I thought "Why not?" and picked it up. Then it sat on my shelf. And sat. And sat. Until I was talking to one of the girls at the bookstore that I have become friends with and she asked if I had read it yet, and if not, that I NEEDED TO. So I went home and began reading and now, here I am, so in love with the story and the characters and the entire book. I will admit it was a bit difficult to start the book, as it has a lot of world-building and the main protagonist, Katsa is a bit tough to get a hold on to. But eventually, the story sped up and I couldn't stop flipping the pages.
Graceling focuses on Katsa, a girl who has the talent of killing. She is the one her uncle, the king of her land, sends to do his dirty work. When she meets Po, a prince from another land, they become friends and set off on a dangerous mission and uncover terrible secrets that could rip all seven kingdoms apart. Katsa is a difficult one to like at first. She's tough and she's hard, but she's also very conflicted. I personally loved her character in the end. I found her to be so strong and that she actually really did care about the people that she wanted to protect. She would protect her loved ones even if it killed her. She was... How can I put this? BAD. ASS. Then there was Po. I loved Po. He and Katsa had a bit of conflict at the beginning, until they began to realise they could help each other. And then they set off on a long journey in hopes of uncovering answers in regards to Po's grandfather. I ADORED the way Po made Katsa jumpy and embarrassed. It was so funny and sweet at the same time. Here's a girl who needs to be in control, suddenly traveling with a handsome prince who makes her stomach flutter. There are so many things that happen in the book that I'd like to talk about, but I can't just in case someone, like me a few days ago, has not yet read it and thus, I can't spoil it!
So, I will just say, please go read this book if you get the chance. It's so different, but so good. The world-building is fantastic and I was so impressed by how much detail we get about the workings of the seven kingdoms. There was so much in this book and I loved it all. Now, I cannot wait to pick up Fire and then Bitterblue!!!