Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Warning: Mild Spoilers.
This was a pretty extravagant story.
The concept of this fantasy world with the seven kingdoms and people with their graces, or special powers, was different, but not in a bad way. And the characters were very developed and realistic. Seeing as I've been recommended to read this book for over a year, and it took me so long to pluck it from my to-read pile, I understand that I'm very late to the game with this series. While I really liked the story and am looking forward to reading the next installments, I can't say that it was amazing. The story was well written, the characters were each their own, and the ending (while leaving it open-ended) was satisfying. But I'm going to be a little petty about some things...
Katsa kind of annoyed me. I understand some people and their ideals about marriage, but the way she completely freaked out and became an emotional wreck when she found out she was simply falling for Po was a bit irritating. And even then, he goes out and suggests an open-ended relationship (no strings attached comes to mind) and she jumps at it without really thinking about the future. It's a petty thing to mention perhaps, but I kind of saw Katsa as a little selfish in this area. I loved Po, and thought he was great, he really was, but the way Katsa could take on the world, and knew it (even acted like it sometimes) really struck me the wrong way. I hope she'll agree to marry him someday! However, Katsa redeemed herself a little as soon as they found Bitterblue. I absolutely adored that little girl!
All in all, creepy king- check. Kick-ass heroin- check. Swoon-worthy love interest- check. And a whirlwind fantasy/action plot- double check. GRACELING is a very good read.
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