I've been putting off this review for about two weeks now, which is pretty long for me. I do not know why I waited so long to even start writing about it! You see, I loved it! 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
4.25 out of 5 stars
Published in 2008
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
The first thing I thought about when reading Graceling was PO. When I thought of Po, I thought of that panda in the hit movies, which probably isn't what the author wanted us to think of. I think I just wanted his name to be changed. Honestly, I just don't like that name! I mean, other than his name, he was pretty awesome and charming and totally cool! I loved his witty banter with Katsa; it was really entertaining! Most of all, he was incredibly smart and loyal. I could not believe how caring he was and how much he was willing to sacrifice for Katsa and Bitterblue. (If you've read this book, you'll know what he lost. I can't believe how brave he was in order to let that happen discretely. Just amazing and inspiring...)
Katsa. If anything, she was strong. More precisely, she was fearless and respected for being a killer. She was not exactly ruthless, but she was kind of menacing and scary. I was kind of scared to her in the beginning, but I began to warm up to her as the story developed. Not only that, but she also developed. Katsa got feelings. She fell in love! She actually got caring! So you see, there was some major character development throughout the story. I admire that in a character, and when you have a main character that strong, it works even better.
The plot is pretty intense. While I can't say much, I will say that it has you turning the pages until you only see blurs. It has you gasping for breath in your room while people gape at your emotions. It makes you go crazy, which is a totally good thing in this case. It gets you worked up. I liked it that way! Plus, the villain was pretty well thought out to. He or she was not obvious or cheesy. It was actually really hard to figure out and definitely worthy of my praise!
I like how there was a ton of action. The fight scenes were written really well. I was definitely interested in how Katsa fought and how Po blocked her. It was totally worth my time!
One thing to note is that it might offend some readers. There are some inappropriate situations mentions. Also, the idea of having a relationship without marriage might offend some readers. If you are not okay with that, don't read this book.