Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: The Seven Kingdoms #1
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 7, 2009
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more!
Review: Graceling is definitely the book to read to satiate all your fantasy cravings and more. Where creatures of the "underworld" seem to dominate YA, Graceling brings us back to all we love about the realm of fantasy. Dynamic plots, to-die-for characters, and a story where every page is an epic adventure, Graceling is definitely my new love, taking me away into the seven kingdoms from cover to cover.
The storyline of this book was just way too original and intricate to have even one dull moment. Every detail about what is a Graceling and the seven kingdoms just sucked me even more into the book. The magnitude of the world Kristin Cashore creates in Graceling and how that plays around the plot was done fantastically.
I felt for Katsa early on in the book. It can't be easy to be born a killer, to be born only to cause pain, especially since she has a cruel man like her uncle encouraging her. But at the same time, for a woman so strong physically, I was surprised she didn't grow a backbone and stand up to her uncle but being feared by everyone would do that to a girl. But it was obvious she was so much better than that. And she did show that as she grew into the kind of woman she could be proud of.
I love a guy with confidence, and despite the fact that Katsa could pound him in a fight on his best day, Po didn't lose that confident swag about him. But he was definitely not a one dimensional character. There was still a deep vulnerability, a sense of being alone in the world that he and Katsa had in common. And you can see the subtle ways that both Po and Katsa let their guards down with each other. From the beginning I knew such a friendship could easily grow into something more.
What Katsa and Po had together was so beautiful. It was a different kind of romance. One that was built on a strong friendship. And eventually grew into the love they never thought they wanted, never thought they needed, never thought they would have. That was what made it so beautiful, the fact that they already truly knew one another, and loved one another as friends before they finally accepted the love they felt for each other as something more.
All in all this is without a doubt a must read. Beautifully woven characters, an adventured filled plot, and a romance as genuine as they come, Graceling is a fantasy lovers dream!
Recommendations: I recommend this book to all lovers and fantasy and even if you may not be a fantasy lover, this book is bound to change your mind!
Writing Style: 5/5
If you like this book, check out the Poison Study Series by. Maria V. Synder: