Graceling - Book Review
(Graceling Realm #1)
UK Publisher: Gollancz
Katsi 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, Katsu 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…
I’d been meaning to read this book for such a long time! I’m so glad that I finally chose to pick it up as Gravelling was a story with a great concept, fantastic characters and a quick paced plot. While, sadly, I did have a few issues with the ending, I ultimately enjoyed it overall and really admire Kristin Cashores skills as a writer.
The story revolves around nineteen year old Katsu, a girl who was blessed/cursed with the grace of killing. Be it ten men or a hundred, she easily defeats them all, but she takes no joy in her gift. Used by her uncle, the king, to carry out his threats and executions, Katsus heart has grown hard and bitter. But then she meets Po, a Southernly Prince graced with the gift of Fighting.
For the first time ever, Katsu has found a worthy opponent who can challenge her skills. But when she and Po strike up a friendship, Katsu suddenly begins to question the life fate has dealt her. With Po’s help, she becomes determined to escape her uncles tyranny, but her journey takes her down a path darker than she expected, for the unlikely pair soon uncover an evil even greater than Katsu’s uncle, and this time, Katsu’s killing Grace will not be able to save her…
As I said, I really enjoyed this book. Within its pages, it holds a few storylines, and with each plot Katsu develops more as a character. She is easily likeable, feisty and tough, yet she is also adorable in her socially awkward way. A very fun and readable heroine.
Her love interest, Po, is also well written. He is unashamed that his woman is more capable of kicking ass than he is, and with his cool headed way of thinking, he made a good match against Katsu’s more fiery personality. His story is also an interesting one and he added a good deal of suspense to the book.
Set within a fantasy world of seven divided Kingdoms, sword fights, honour and magic run thick throughout this story. The descriptions are brilliant and the reader is easily immersed into Katsu’s world.
However while the book is very action based, the story moves through several plot lines - some more gripping than others - so the book can read a little slow at times. Still it held my attention throughout and while I found the end a little rushed and abruptly brought to a close, I would still recommend fans of fantasy give it a try.
I look forward to reading the other books in the series. 3.5 stars!