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The Compulsive Reader: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Katsa's Grace (a special ability she possesses that is indicated by the dual color of her eyes) rules her entire life. She is Graced with the ability to kill, and is forced to be her corrupt uncle's assassin. Discontent with her life and her actions, she begins the Council, whose mission is to aid and protect citizens from their power hungry and sometimes ruthless leaders. It is while she is on a mission for the Council that Katsa rescues Prince Tealiff, the elderly father of the Lienid king, who has been kidnapped by an unknown enemy. When his grandson Po comes looking for him, Katsa and Po begin a tentative friendship in order to discover who would kidnap a harmless old man, and together discover an insidious plot that would drastically affect the entire land.

Kristin Cashore has created quite a vivid and unique world in Graceling. The concept of Graces is quite fascinating, and is the most enticing aspect of the book. Though Katsa is a strong, interesting, and likable character, it may be hard for readers to really get invested in the book until after 100 or more pages.
But around the middle of Graceling, the pace picks up as Katsa finds her independence and her relationship with Po intensifies. Readers will get swept up in the action as Katsa and Po must confront the source of their troubles against nearly insurmountable odds and race against time. Graceling finishes off with a scene that doesn't quite live up to its dramatic build-up, but is satisfying nonetheless. Cashore doesn't quite give her characters the happily-ever-after ending that readers will be wishing for, but rather a realistic and believable resolution that stays consistent with the characters' personalities. Graceling is a dramatic and thrilling read that is abundant with action, political intrigue, and romance that will leave some readers dreaming long after the last page.

Cover Comments: While this isn't the most striking cover I've seen, I do like the colors used, and I love the font used for the title. The weathered look is very cool, and goes with the fantasy genre. It isn't overdone either, which makes the cover look polished, but not too cookie-cutter. I like it a lot.

15 comments:

teepot09 said...

I have to agree with you about the ending - I was a little surprised by how anti climatic before becoming almost bittersweet. Then I heard about the second and third book in the series which involve new characters within the original Graceling world. The third, Bitterblue, might even have Katsa and Po resurface again! So hopefully there will be more to come!

Llehn said...

I have to admit that I am not a fan of the book partly because of the hype I guess. I felt it was too run of the mill high fantasy for my liking. I did like Bitterblue though.

KD said...

I really want to read this one!

celi.a said...

I read this when it came out a couple of months ago, and preached it to my friends and family. My sister, who happens to teach 8th grade English, got a copy for her classroom, and it's a favorite there. And surprisingly enough, my 18 year-old brother loves it too. So it's universal: Graceling is good.

Janssen said...

I liked this book, but I thought it was rather uneven. Good, but never quite crossed the line into great.

pinktooth2 said...

i havent actually gotten around to reading it yet but it looks(and sounds) really good

May-Bedell Gurl said...

Now I really want to read it! I passed it up at the book store for another book... Now I'm kicking myself for not getting it.

Amy said...

fantastic review! I also like the cover, especially the eye in the sword. It's mysterious and alluring.
-amy

pepsivanilla said...

I really like this cover :) Haven't read the book though!

babygirlG said...

The cover is gorgeous! I love how the eyes reflect in the blade!

Kami Garcia said...

I really enjoyed this one.

infiniteshelf said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read this for so long, seing your review was a good reminder!

And you should stop by my blog, an award is waiting for you there! :) Have a nice day!

Cassandra said...

I loved this book! I can't wait for the sequel!

hmz1505 said...

I read this when it first came out and loved it. I'm a 7th and 8th grade librarian and my kids have really been enjoying it too. Can't wait for Fire and Bitterblue!!

Kaitlyn said...

good review. good wording on your description of the ending...I was slightly unsatisfied but it was realistic and consistent...
I loved the book though, overall.