Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Graceling" - A Review

So I have recently been going over all the books I have read thus far this summer, and something astonishing has occurred to me ... Most of the books I have completed have semi completed reviews for them. I am shocked I have let them get this far away from me, SO! I have decided that I am going to try and complete some of them this weekend, starting with the one I have just currently finished.

"Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

"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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

I have never been as engulfed in a book as I was with this one. "Graceling" was absolutely fascinating, and fabulous! Katsa the main heroine, graced with "killing" at first is a strong, ambitious and stubborn girl. She is probably every young girls ideal individual being so self orientated and not needing help for no one (especially a man!). Although she does have her own trials and tribulations throughout the book including coming to terms with her grace and self control. She also meets an unlikely ally of a Prince from one of the seven Kingdoms named Po. Po, who like her is graced with fighting, although the reader finds out that Po, and also Katsa, do not know the true powers of either of their graces until much more into the book. Cashore, makes sure the reader is well aware that there is more to both of these characters than meets the eye, and both Po and Katsa will need one another to help each other comes to term with their “secrets”.

What I truly loves about this book is that it took me back to when I was a young teen reading Tamora Pierce another medieval heroine author (that is also still my number one favorite). It reminded me how strong willed a woman can be living in a man’s world, but also how one man can take that world and flip it up side down in an instant, but the heroine still knows who she truly is. As the story progresses Po and Katsa must separate which in most cases they would stay together because they’re too much in love to leave one another but in this case the heroine does not throw everything away to be with her prince, she continues the story line/mission she is set to do, and comes back for him. Which is rarely the case with romantic storylines, I found it refreshing.

Also the ending was not what anyone would expect from a Y.A. author. Alot of books I’ve been reading I could predict the outcome with them, girl meets guy, they go through some problems and then BAM! everything works out in the end. But with “Graceling” it was not like that at all! Of course Po, and Katsa at the end of the book were together but both of them due to their character development throughout the story hand separate paths they had to take. It was superbly different, and I absolutely adored the ending. It was sweet, heartwarming, but still sort of heartbreaking as well.

Definitely Katsa and Po became one of my favorite couple thus far this year, they are a well rounded couple, they had problems to over come, they had their loves tested, their strength and determination, and their trust in one another … like a REAL COUPLE! Although even through all the problems they find a compromise per say that suites both Katsa (head strong, stubborn, and NOT the marrying type) and Po (honorable, sweet, loving - basically the exact opposite of Katsa).

If anything read this book for the great adventure that unfolds and the love story between Katsa and Po, where if nothing you'll take away from it is, if you truly belong together, eventually you find your way back to one another. Beautifully written, and woven into a vivid story for all ages to enjoy!

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