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Friday, 4 October 2013

Book Talk: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Hello, all. This is a book I actually read last year, but I saw it on my shelf and realised I had to tell you all about it.

People with an exceptional skill in a particular field, known as a Grace, are equal parts feared, envied and exploited in the Seven Kingdoms. Katsa, who can be identified, as all Gracelings can, by her mismatched eyes, is cursed with the Grace of killing, something even she loathes herself for. Used as an assassin by her uncle Randa, king of the Middluns, Katsa is on a mission to find and save the kidnapped father of the king of  Lienid. But the old man is harmless. What could anyone possibly want with him? And who was that knife-wielding, Graced fighter, with eyes the colour of precious metals? Is following Randa's orders really the right thing to do? Because Katsa's not sure she still wants to kill any more. She doesn't want to be a pawn all her life. This time, she's going to solve the mystery by herself. Maybe with a little help from Po...

 This book had an interesting premise; never before had I seen anyone do something similar to a Grace. The other thing I love is that there are loads of twists, but they're not horrible, sneaky underhand tricks of the author -- they're the kind of twists that make you go "aaaahhhhhh" and nod, rather than screech, "NOOOOO!" Prim-style and cry. No one in this book is exactly as they seem, and I love that. You discover things throughout the course of the novel even the characters didn't know about themselves, and it's fun to try to solve the mystery before they do. And, as with all the books I really like, there's an adorable guy :)

The writing is beautiful, too, because it's not typical. Being set in a fantastical world, Graceling is written in a more poetic fashion than most YA fiction is, and it really works for this story. There's a companion novel, Fire, which tells the story of Graceling's antagonist, but not always from his point of view, and the sequel, Bitterblue, is set eight years later and has just come out. I haven't read it yet, but I will. Eventually. If only you guys could see my To Be Read list.

Here's Graceling on Amazon.

Star rating: 5/5

Well, this has been a short post, but the plot is complicated, and I can either under-describe or over-describe. I think under-describing is better than spoiling the book for you. So, see you on Monday ! (MY BIRTHDAY!)