Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristen Cashore

Synopsis: "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 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..."

Title: Graceling
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Action
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Pages: 471
Ages: 13+
My Rating: 5 stars
One Word: BadAssKatsa
Fave Quote(s): 

"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'" (434).

"Alone in the forest, Katsa sat on a stump and cried. She cried like a person whose heart is broken and wondered how, when two people loved each other, there could be such a broken heart" (232).

Oh. Wow.

I did not expect this book to be like that.

I have no idea how Cashore wrote this. My mind still reels on the capability of all amazing authors who write books like this.

I came into this book with low expectations--not because of the book itself, but because I recently read about three books before this one that made me begin to reconsider all books. In other words, they truly earn one star ratings compared to this book.

Katsa of the Middluns. The strongest, fearless character I've ever read and my new favorite. I envy this fictional protagonist and I'm not ashamed of it! I love her personality and her warm-heart despite the nagging thoughts that creep into her head of being a monster. And of course, Prince Po shows her that she is no where near a monster.

Aaahhhh. Prince Po. I can't stop my mind from thinking of Katsa and Po. Their relationship is much better than the messy and rushing YA romance there is today. The way Katsa reacted to the feeling of love was something that I've never read about, but makes absolute sense for Katsa.

"...His eyes were beautiful. His face was beautiful to her in every way, and his shoulders and hands. And his arms that hung over his knees, and his chest that was not moving, because he held his breath as he watched her. And the heart in his chest. This friend. How had she not seen this before? How had she not seen him? She was blind. And then tears choked her eyes, for she had not asked for this. She had not asked for this beautiful man before her, with something hopeful in his eyes that she did not want" (229).

Her conflicting feelings on love just made the romance much more intense and I found myself crying by her side, my heart sympathizing. The tragedies, the happiness, the love. This book pulled my emotions in all sorts of directions. I was crying on one page and the next I was laughing.

Moving on from the love....the storyline was another reason that I got sucked into this novel. The concept of a Grace and the whole fantasy-medieval times aspect had my so curious. The way Cashore wrote and the unique dialogue made the story seem from long ago. And if that wasn't enough, King Leck and Bitterblue and Prince Raffin and all of the other characters were astonishing and so different.

I truly loved every aspect of this book and I'm so frightened, yet excited for the second one! Cashore is going to send me on another rollercoaster of emotions and suspense.


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