Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Graceling (This is really happening!)

Author: Kristin Cashore
Info: Harcourt, copyright 2008, 471 pages

Katsa has been able to kill man with her bare hands since she was eight - she a Graveling, one of the rare people in he 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...

~Goodreads Description~

I felt it was only fitting that I close out 2014 with this here book review.  It has been a very, very long time coming.  It has been on my list of reading resolutions for the last three years.  It has been checked out, and then checked out again, repeatedly, in an attempt to finish just 471 pages.  It is the end of a very long marathon.  And I am making this way more dramatic than it is...but it's done.  I have finished Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Katsa is a fierce warrior.  And she's stubborn.  Oh so stubborn.  Born with powers that make her dangerous, Katsa is tired of being used as a weapon, as a blunt object.  She wants to take her destiny into her own hands and offer her special gift for good.  But her Uncle has other plans.  He doesn't, however, expect her to meet and befriend Prince Po, a Lienid with Graces of his own, and the unique ability to whittle away at the shell that protects Katsa from herself.

The book was a bit more "lovey" than I expected.  I especially enjoyed the borderline ridiculous inner -arguement when atlas is deciding whether or not to make Po her "lover."  It's kind of making me laugh now just thinking about it.  I do, however, really enjoy fictional females who can take care of themselves, and fictional males who let them.  This book definitely fit that bill.  The most interesting character by far, however, was Bitterblue, a young princess who was a fighter more determined than anyone with a Grace.  She survives when she shouldn't.  She perseveres when you expect her to melt into a puddle.  And she is a force to be reckoned with in the latter portion of the book.

While I have no driving need to continue on in the story, I do kind of wonder what becomes of Bitterblue in the end.  Maybe one day.  But probably not 2015.

Goodbye Graceling.  I can now recommend you with confidence (and I do!), but I can also say goodbye and look for my new reading white whale.


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