Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Graceling, by Kristen Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)"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 shedespises: 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."  -Goodreads

This book has been on my TBR list forever. Finally, I was able to read it.

I have been wanting to read this book for the simple reason being that it is a medieval fantasy. Since I was a little kid, I have always loved books set in the medieval times. Don't know why.

Anyways, on to the review. I had a love-hate relationship with this book. The beginning was great, the middle was unpleasant, and towards the end of the book, it got much better.

I hate to admit this, but in the middle of reading Graceling, I got so bored. I just couldn't read it any longer. I literally threw it under my bed, fed up with the long, endless paragraphs of descriptions, and started reading another book. I got through two more books, and finally convinced myself that I needed to finish this book. Against my will, I read it.

Like I said, the middle was torturous. Then, after 200 pages of torturing myself, I found that I was beginning to enjoy reading it. The plot was moving faster, there was more action, and the paragraphs were filled with things other than describing Katsa's grace and how perfect it made her. I was satisfied with how the book ended, surprisingly.

I will not hesitate to say that the writing was bothersome. The scenes were way too descriptive, and I found myself dozing off, thinking of other things while reading these paragraphs.

Another thing that irritated me: the characters in the beginning of the novel, whom I thought were very important, were basically just thrown away and weren't brought up again. Yeah, some of them showed up three pages before the Epilogue, but the author didn't seem to be giving any thought to characters such as Giddon and King Randa. This is one of the major things that makes me dislike a book.

Now that I got the bad things out of the way, I will say what was pleasing about this book. I love, love, loved the scenes when Po and Katsa would have training sessions. I thought that they were so entertaining to read about and made it easier to imagine Po and Katsa as a couple. At first, I was doubting whether they would be good together, but now I see that they really are perfect for each other.

Another part that I was fond of was the ending. I had a lot of sympathy for Po, and my respect for him increased because he stayed strong.

Katsa is the image of what every girl wants to be; independent, fearless, and bold. I didn't see her as a dynamic character; she didn't change much throughout the book, and to me, this is a bad thing. She was still unable to control her anger, and I was hoping that by the end of the book, she wouldn't be so reckless.   

While there were some aspects that made me like the book, the cons stand out much more than the pros. Therefore, I will give this book three stars. I'm thinking about reading the next book, Fire, but I am still unsure.

Publication date: October 1st, 2008
Page count: 471 pages
My Rating: 3/5 stars

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