Thursday, July 11, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) 
by Kristin Cashore
Published:October 1st 2008 
by Harcourt
His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is 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.
Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

My thoughts: 

     How do I begin....this book was pure awesomeness! I grabbed this book at random at the book store. I had no idea what it was about, but, man, am I happy I picked it up! 
     Let me point something out, though. Going into this book, I felt as if it was a little flat. Interesting, but flat. At first, there didn't seem to be any plot and character development. And the characters were kinda.......unoriginal. As if I'd already read about them a hundred times before. This went on for all of part 1 in the book. (For those of you who don't know, there are 3 parts in the book) But going into part 2, I was struck in the face with a fantastic literary whirlwind. 
     The characters start out as skeletons with bare details and simple traits. Then, before your eyes, they begin to grow! They change before your eyes into real people. Katsa didn't really have a great personality in the beginning, because she basically just followed he uncle's rules. She did everything he told her to do, just like a little puppy dog. He trained her to not question anything, and to harm people without emotion, and she did exactly that. 
     But when Po comes in, she starts having a change of mind. She starts questioning herself. Why is she doing this? Why can't she stop? Why does she have to do what her uncle tells her to do? And just like that, Katsa becomes her own person. She goes on a task, and instead of hurting a man, she lets him live, and disobeys her uncles orders. 
     I LOVED Po. Although, his name often reminded me of Po from Kung Fu Panda, he was just so swoon worthy! (Katsa's name also confused me alot. Whenever I started reading, I would mindlessly say "Katniss" instead of "Katsa") Po's ability to read people's minds was a great advantage. When Katsa agreed to leave with him, he was able to tell if people were coming, or if animals were near.
     He would come handy in a zombie apocalypse....just a thought.
The story line was great. After part one, Katsa and Po are on there way to a different kingdom, and the action quickly picks up, when they figure out who the villain in the story is.
     You also meet Bittlerblue. Bitterblue is Po's young cousin who you meet, when Katsa and Po rescue her. I'm not gonna say why they rescued her, because I'm trying to keep spoiler at minimum. But I loved Bitterblue. Her character brought innocence into the story. She was just a little 10 year old girl who needed rescuing  yet she became such an important character later on in the story.
     This book was amazing. I loved it, and do not regret reading! I deducted a star because of the slow start, but the rest of the book, is great! The book is part of a trilogy, so I am super excited to read the next book! 


“I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said.
"It would look stunning, My Lady," she called.
She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.” 
― Kristin CashoreGraceling

“What are you grinning at?" Katsa demanded for the third or fourth time. "Is the ceiling about to cave in on my head or something? You look like we're both on the verge of an enormous joke."
"Katsa, only you would consider the collapse of the ceiling a good joke.” 
― Kristin CashoreGraceling

“Skye kissed her forehead. "You saved my life."
Katsa smiled. "You Lienid are very outward in your affection."
"I'm going to name my firstborn child after you."
Katsa laughed at that. "For the child's sake, wait for a girl. Or even better, wait until all your children are older and give my name to whichever is the most troublesome and obstinate.
Skye burst into laughter and hugged her, and Katsa returned his embrace. And realized that quite without her intending it, her guarded heart had made another friend.” 

― Kristin CashoreGraceling

“I'll teach you how to defend yourself, how to maim a man. We can use Po as a model.''Wonderful,' Po said. 'It's quite boring really, the way you beat me to death with your hands and feet, Katsa. It'll be refreshing to have you come at me with a knife.” 
 Kristin CashoreGraceling

“I wanted you to go away, because it hurts to be with you when I can't see you." - Po” 
― Kristin CashoreGraceling

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