Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Published: October 1st 2008 by Harcourt
Format: Hardcover / Source: Borrowed
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, 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..
Graceling is the first book in a fantasy series — I believe each book is based on a different character (correct me if I’m wrong). So the first book follows a young girl who is graced with a killing ability, later discovered that it’s more complex than that. Their part of the world consists of seven kingdoms and when she comes together with Prince Po of the kingdom Lienid, they take it in their hands to find out the mystery about King Leck of Monsea and do something about it.
The general concept of the plot was interesting, but overall, I thought it along with other aspects of the story were very predictable. I seen a lot of things coming before it happened; specifically speaking, the plot twist at Lienid. Also, I didn’t like the way it was repeated when Katsa and Po suspected something about King Leck only later for it to be proven true. The book felt very fast paced, but I still found myself feeling like the book was never-ending. It could have been much shorter than it was, in my opinion.
Before reading the book, I’ve heard plenty of people talking about how they disliked Katsa and Prince Po because they weren’t relatable. That’s one reason I tend to avoid reviews on books I haven’t read yet, because very often they get wrapped with my own opinions if not affect them to where they aren’t my own. So that being said, I see where many of them come from when they say Katsa’s not relatable. Though that didn’t affect my dislike of her in any way. In fact, I did find something that she and I have in common, but it’s all the more annoying of her character as well. Her denial of being in love with Po. There’s something about her, though, that I absolutely couldn’t stand. I want to say that she was almost whiny, but I don’t think that’s it. I just can’t put my finger on it. Then we have Po. Can I just say I adored him? Although I can’t imagine what he sounds like, his accent and those tattoos and how protective he had seemed of Katsa, all made him that much more attractive. He was, in the least, charming. This may fit in under the concept section, but I did find a fault in his grace. (Spoilers — highlight to see). When he can read Katsa’s thoughts, they begin having conversations in their head, but I thought he could only read thoughts about him instead of directed at him as well? Like when they are around Bitterblue and they’re talking about Leck. There were some other instances as well, but I haven’t written them down. Did I miss something or didn’t he say he could only read thoughts regarding him, as in like if they were about him?
I had the hardest time deciding what I should rate this. My thoughts were so conflicted after I’d finished this book. I think I really liked it overall, but those small faults I found are keeping me from rating it a full four stars, or even four and a half. Ooh wait, something else I forgot to mention in the concept section; I was not expecting that very last twist about Po! That’s the only thing I hadn’t seen coming and it kind of took me by surprise, honestly. So to wrap it up, I did enjoy it at most, but as mentioned above, there were some things that bothered me.
Sidenote. There is mentions of animal abuse. I thought I’d mention it because it kind of did bother me and normally I can handle it, so just a warning to those who want to read it.
I hope you guys enjoyed it! If there are any specific books you’d like me to review, please let me know. I’d love to consider 🙂