Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release: October 1, 2008
Series: The Seven Kingdoms #1
Katsa 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, and in her case horrifying, 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... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I got this book a while back and didn't think much of it. I hadn't really heard of it too much and I hadn't read the summary. But the more I started to look into it, the more excited I became. when I actually read it, I finished it in three days and loved every second of it.
The cover of Graceling really represents the time era that is used well. With the sword and the partial reflection of Katsa's face, it really shows how fighting is a big thing in Katsa's life. When we first meet Katsa, her world totally revolves around fighting and doing the king's orders. And I think the picture of Katsa looking into the sword might have something to do with her thinking about what the king makes her do and whether she will follow him anymore. I also just love the font for the title. It looks so script-ish. And the flowers in the background and stains really give this book an old look to it.
The characters in Graceling really brought the story together for me. They were perfect for the world they lived in. Never once would you catch Po being like a guy today, or would you find any of them slipping up and using slang or speaking in modern tongue. They also were so in depth! When you read about any character, you felt like you had this real relationship with them; not just that you were reading about them from a book.
This book truly had me hooked from the very first page. I started reading and was intrigued by the writing style of the author. It drew me in where other books usually are all description. But Kristin had this way of filling in the blanks on the go, so you never had to wait for the story to pick up the pace or get going at all. And the storyline was just so perfect! The way something was always happening whether it be minuscule or book changing, something was always happening. I also loved the way the writing was so well put together and how it took these sharp turns, plot wise, and it never failed to amuse with it's brief flashes of humour.
If someone were to ask me for a book recommendation, this would definitely be one of my highest recommendation for any age range. And once you read it, I'm sure you'll understand why it got a 5/5 in my opinion.