Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Graceling- Kristin Cashore
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I can't remember who recommended this book to me now, but I really wish I could because I need to thank them profusely. Graceling is an excellent YA adventure/fantasy with a strong female protagonist, something of a rarity anymore.
There is not a whole lot that I can say about the plot without giving it away, but Katsa (it's always Kat, or Katniss, or Katsa isn't it? Makes me rethink my character being Katy) has a Grace. In Cashore's world, someone who is graced has two different colored eyes, and a remarkable ability at something: cooking, politics, singing, etc. Katsa's grace is killing. Interesting for sure.
When the book opens we are dropped immediately into the action without any explanation. I alternated between being thoroughly annoyed at this (What is going on!?!?) and totally loving it (just one more page/chapter). Ultimately, I think it really worked. The world is not so far off the charts that the reader can't easily follow along, and all is revealed in good time. It definitley makes the first part of the novel a page turner; I couldn't set it down.
In very short, Katsa goes on a bunch of adventures, meets a cute guy (Po) who is also graced, and has to fight to save herself and what she believes in. There is obviously much more to the book than that, but you should just go read it. :)
I think Cashore created some very interesting and believable characters. The plot was smooth and well paced, for the most part. There were a couple of spots that lagged. I liked the good guys and hated the bad guys. The idea of a grace is unique and really cool and I enjoyed all of the different graces that she came up with. I was a little bummed with the ending, mostly because I wanted more, which I thought was coming in her second book Fire, but that is apparently a prequel, not a sequel. I'm still waiting on that sequel Ms. Cashore, if you are ever trolling the web and read this. I really want to know what happens after Graceling ends.
My favorite part of this book though was the fact that Katsa is a strong, independent woman. In this age of simpering, whiny, weak heroines (cough, cough, Bella, cough), I appreciated that Katsa was her own woman and took charge of situations. She still had a love interest, which was also really well written, but her life didn't revolve around a man. She is just fine on her own, a welcome change.
So, I'd say go buy it, or check it out from your library, or download a sample to your Kindle, whatever, but read it. I think it's a must read for anyone writing YA and I'd strongly recommend it as a fun read to everyone else.
Check out my other reviews here!