Friday, June 7, 2013

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)This book is on the 2014 Battle of the Books list, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Katsa's Grace, or special ability, seems to be killing people, and it takes all of her efforts to control it when she's angry. She is sent on missions by her king to threaten people into following his wishes. However, Katsa and some others form a Council to undertake secret tasks and to help people who have been wronged. She rescues the kidnapped grandfather of a peaceful kingdom, but no one can figure out why he was taken in the first place. Katsa has an encounter with a grandson, who has a disturbing Grace, and they set out to uncover the secret. Their exploration leads to an unlikely foe with a Grace no one even knows about. It is a power that even Katsa may not be able to overcome.

Overall, I think I enjoyed the plot enough to give this book a rating of five, but there were some parts that moved too slowly for me. There was a good deal of adventure and suspense, and the climax kind of took me by surprise. It was fun to read about a female protagonist, even though she was a killer with no sympathy for her victims. Katsa's struggle to control her Grace made her behavior unpredictable at times. That's a good thing. I liked the interaction between Katsa and Prince Po, and his cousin, Bitterblue, was another interesting character. The falling action and resolution of the plot took several chapters as some other surprises were revealed.

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