Thursday, 24 March 2011
Review of Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
My Rating: 3.5/5
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.
I had heard so many great things about this book! It seemed to have positive reviews all round. I was really looking forward to reading it and had pretty high standards for it. And I think that that was the problem for me a little.
I'm struggling to put a rating on how much I liked it. At the beginning of the book, I found it very hard to get into and it was quite slow moving. I also didn't really know where the story was going. I felt like this for a large majority of the book, which is why I never fully got immersed into the story. But this was the only problem I had with it, and that was more to do with the fact that it just isn't my sort of book rather than it being at all bad.
It was beautifully written. It reminded me a lot of the Lord of the Rings. But I did find that this was one of the things that slowed the book down a little. I loved the fact that it was a fantasy set in a Middle Earth-y time, yet with no Dragons or Elves or anything like that. The fantasy in this book were the Graced, or Gracelings. It was a brilliant concept, having people with two different eyes, with one exceptional skill. I really enjoyed reading about that. I also liked the characters a lot. Katsa (I kept reading her name as Katniss) was a very good main character, and I liked how we learned about her Grace with her as the book went along. I also
really loved Po and Bitterblue, they were very real, strong characters.
There's something about this book that really sets it apart from anything else, yet I can't place my finger on it. There was a quality in the writing and the exceptionally clever story telling that puts this book to a very high standard. There was also a lovely well-rounded ending that I loved, and it was such a nice change to read a YA book where it's not compulsory to read the next two books to know how it all ended and know that the characters all lived happily ever after (even though, I know there are more books after this).
Overall, I found that the first half of the book dragged and was hard to get into, but had a very endearing story and nice ending that helped a lot for me.