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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Book Name: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher(s): Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formatt: Hardcover / Paperback / Audio Book / eBook
Genre(s): Fantasy / YA
Release Date: October 1, 2008

Imagine a world where people are given special talents; those so blessed are called Gracelings, and their talents are perfect. The Grace could be anything: cooking, horseback riding, swimming, hand-to-hand combat. Whatever it is, the Graced do it perfectly. Imagine that in this world, people with these special talents are shunned by society, common folk frequently going out of their way to avoid those who are Graced. The Graced are sent to their king in order to give service to their liege when their talent reveals itself.

Now, imagine that your Grace was killing. In every way, you’re better at killing than anyone should have a right to be. Imagine that you made your first kill when you were eight years old.

Welcome to Lady Katsa’s life.

The main character of this book, Katsa, is a likable character. She has an attitude borne of the fact that people are terrified of her, and she never allows others to get close to her. Preferring to wear trousers over frilly dresses, Katsa is the kind of fighter I would want to be if I were transported into a fantasy world. She doesn’t put up with much, but there is one unpleasant thing she stomachs on a normal basis.

Her cousin, Randa, is the king of the Middluns, and Katsa is his royal executioner. Because of her extraordinary Grace, she is able to kill people in ways that shock many, allowing the stories of Randa’s lady thug to spread far and wide. People know not to betray the Lord King of the Middluns, because Katsa will come to dole out the punishment.

In the beginning of the book, while on a secret mission, Katsa meets another Graceling; a man with silver and gold eyes. She trusts him not to reveal her secret, and this man turns out to be a powerful ally as the story progresses.

This story also has a blossoming romance, written in a manner that made me curious to see where it would lead. The interactions between the two characters, while they’re falling in love, were very real and it was easy to see from the beginning how they felt about one another. The romance was not overdone or graphically described, but neither does the author shy away from telling it like it is. I found this refreshing and very well done.

I definitely enjoyed this story, and I’m very excited to read the next book in the series (even if it is a prequel). After reading the author’s blog, I discovered that book three has been put on hold for the time being. It’s just my luck that a series I enjoy may possibly get cut short before it’s true ending is revealed.


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