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Friday, April 5, 2013

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Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling Realm #1
Author: Kristin Cashore
Released Date: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt

Deadly Grace

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 Graces 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...

     I've heard both good reviews and bad reviews, so like any book, I've had mixed feelings. But I've been wanting to read Graceling since I saw it sitting on the front shelves (where all the Gateway/Truman Award Books are at usually) last year. I just never got the chance to read it until I put it on my 2013 TBR Pile Challenge list (hmm... maybe joining challenges can do me some good after all).
     I'm glad to say that Graceling wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. It might be me and fantasy books, or it might just be because Graceling was different from other books I've read. It does have a really pretty cover though.
     Like any typical fantasy book, there's a different world. In this world, people with an extreme talent or skill are called Gracelings, and they are generally feared by ordinary people and are “outcasts.” The main character, Katsa, has the Grace of killing and works under King Randa of the Middluns, until she meets Prince Po of Lienid.
     What's really surprising is how the author manages to not make the villain very obvious off the bat like other books would normally do until later in the story, when Po and Katsa are actually discussing possible suspects *breaks off sentence before too much comes out*. Who knew such a Grace could be so deadly and powerful?
     I'm wondering though, if the villain is gone here, are the other unpleasant ones going to be the villains in the 2nd or 3rd book? No spoilers please!
     There are a few parts in Graceling that are probably not recommended for younger/immature (not that I'm calling younger ones immature – there are mature ones as well) people to read. Consider yourself a bit warned.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Owls
~Happy Reading!

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.