Books I Read: Graceling

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: 2008
Content Rating: R for sex (this surprised me actually; though it's written in such a way that if you didn't know much about sex, you might have no idea that's what they were doing)

Graced with an unnatural ability to kill, Katsa has been her royal uncle's thug and assassin since she was little. Over the years, she has grown to regret what she has become and begun to work against some of her uncle's bullying. On one such mission, she meets a Graced fighter named Po, and gets drawn into a rescue on the far side of the world, against a man with a more frightening power than any the world has known.

At first, I was a little jaded by this book. Katsa seemed a lot like Katniss from that other book I read -- both of them killers who don't want to be killers. Both of them beautiful, but totally oblivious to their beauty. (I realize this comparison is totally unfair, as these two books came out within a month of each other, but you have to admit their names are really similar). Where it got interesting for me was when Katsa started spending time with Po, and they began learning more about each other's powers.

The climax was less...explosive than I expected, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it. In contrast, the resolution felt long, but it was exactly what I wanted, plus a twist. (Maybe what I wanted was a book about Po?).

But my favorite, favorite thing about this book was the dialog. I laughed out loud so many times at the dry, clever humor of Katsa, Raffin, Oll, and Po. I'd read a whole book with nothing but Katsa's secret missions, just to hear the four of them take jabs at each other.

Overall, I thought this was a good fantasy adventure with a well-developed (if small) world and clever characters. I'd buy a sequel (or maybe the prequel).


Amie McCracken said...

I liked it too. And Fire. The world is wonderful. But I may have a skewed view and be so in love with these books because they were the first good books I got after arriving in Germany. I'll have to read them again to really decide.

(The author is pretty humorous on her blog.

Adam Heine said...

Thanks for the link, Amie!

Unknown said...

Oh, I loved Graceling! Glad you liked it!

I have a copy of Fire but haven't had the chance to read it yet. Her blog is wonderful when she updates, and she's working on another book in the same world called Bitterblue. :)

Adam Heine said...

Oo, Bitterblue! She was pretty awesome. I'd read more about her.

Myrna Foster said...

I read Graceling before The Hunger Games, so I wasn't thinking about Katniss when I read it.

I'd read a book about Po.