Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, #1)
By Kristin Cashore
Harcourt Children's Books
Genre: YA 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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. – goodreads.com
First off, how could you not pick up this book!? Look at that amazing cover… The one at the top of this post is actually the UK cover… Personally I think it is much, MUCH better than the US cover. I’ve put the US cover to the right of this review. Now, tell me the US cover does not look girly…? It’s kind of a shame because the main character Katsa is much better portrayed in the UK cover. She is by no means girly!
The story was very well written! Cashore did a great job describing the characters and setting without being over descriptive or tiring as some authors do with fantasy books.
Katsa was a great character to observe! She starts out as having no control over her life. Yes, she has a very powerful grace, but it is her king, who is also her uncle, that controls her. She revolts and we watch her become her own person, no longer willing to inflict punishment on those who don’t deserve it. It is also interesting to watch her inner struggle, thinking of herself as a monster for having her grace. She is a very complex and strong character that never once bored me.
The entwined love story in this seemed to progress naturally and I really fell in love with and rooted for the characters!
I highly recommend this. It’s a quick read (at least it was for me). Check it out if you get a chance. I was in torn between giving 4 or 5 stars for this one, but because I liked the concept so much I give it 5 stars.