Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

GracelingMy wife picked up Graceling by Kristin Cashore on the recommendation from @Sundry, someone I follow on Twitter and who’s blog we have read for over five years now.  I like to give credit where credit is due, and since I really did love this book, a hearty “Thank You” goes out to Linda for her recommendation.

Graceling is set in the world of The Seven Kingdoms.  It’s a medieval world filled with, well seven kings, and horses and noblemen and princes.  Katsa, a young girl with a special gift is King Randa’s not-so-secret weapon – his assassin and his enforcer.  In a world where some people have been graced with special abilities, Katsa’s ability is to be able to kill.  And she is very good at it.  King Randa has used her for years to intimidate the people of his kingdom, and made her a true ‘Lady Killer’.   But she is also having a crisis of conscience, and when a mysterious visitor from another kingdom demonstrates the ability to challenge her both physically and mentally, she has a choice to make: one that could see her become and outlaw, or be caged forever in the dungeons of her king.

This is a wonderfully written book for young adults and adults alike.  The characters are perfectly drawn and the scenes masterfully set.  There are twists and turns that make every page brim with action.  It’s a deep story, but not dark, and it’s filled with hope and emotion.  It’s also a coming of age story for a young woman as she escapes  the burdens placed upon her by others, and finds her own way in the world.  I really liked this book.  If I was giving out stars, I’d give it a four out of five, docking it only just slightly because the action climax of the story flew by so fast I almost missed it, and the denouement seemed a little long.  Having said that, with the story she wanted to tell, I’m not sure there was another way to do it.

According to Wikipedia, Graceling received numerous awards and nominations, and I can understand why.  I will definitely read more of Cashore’s books, and look forward to another raining Sunday afternoon deeply engrossed in one of her stories.

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