Lorena's review of Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I’ve always been cautious when reading fantasy related adventure novels. So when I first picked up Graceling, I figured, oh hey look, another fantasy/adventure/romance/potato chips combo novel, great. But it just ended up being so much more than that. Sure it had all the aspects of your fantasy/adventure/romance/potato chips combo novel. But it’s story ran so much deeper than the usual “Let’s ride across vast fields on horse/dragon/rhinoceros, for we must save the world”. It’s characters all carrying their own burdens, and reacting to them in ways that can only be described as the truest human emotions. One of the most complex characters being Katsa; the girl graced with killing.
In the Seven Kingdoms, a select few are born with gifts called graces. They are known as Gracelings. Some may have very useful graces like predicting the weather, or a great sense of navigation; while some may only be able to climb tall trees, or speak backwards at will. Katsa, niece to king Randa, has been able to kill a man with her bare hands, since she was eight. She was raised on training grounds, mastering every weapon, every skill, making her the ultimate weapon. It isn't something that she enjoys but it is something that she has come to accept. While on a mission for The Council to retrieve the Prince Tealiff, she encounters another Graceling whose presence makes an impression on her. Later, she encounters him again and learns that he is Tealiff's grandson and a Prince in his own right. The meeting with Po will prompt her to make a decision that will change the course of her life and her world…
And that’s not even a fifth into the book!
There are just so many aspects of the novel that make it such a great read. So much to wonder at about this book - the characters, so strongly drawn; the excitement and suspense; and Cashore's writing; so simple, yet wonderfully descriptive. She tells so much in so little, and I want nothing more than to spend more time in these character's lives. It really is a wonderful book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.