Set in a fantasy world, Kristin Cashore's Graceling is definitely a fast and entertaining read. In this world, some children are born with special abilities called "Graces". Parents know their child has a Grace if their eyes settle as two different colors. Katsa, the heroine of the story, has one green eye and one blue eye. She is Graced with killing, a valuable Grace for the King of the Middluns, her Uncle Randa, and he uses her as his thug, sending her out to punish those that owe him money or have wronged him in some way. But everything changes when Katsa meets Po, the graceling Prince of Lienid. He has one silver eye and one gold, and Katsa is intrigued by him from the start. But there are more to their Graces than either of them wants to admit.
With the exception of the very first scene of the book, the beginning lags a little bit. I think most fantasy is this way, though. It's difficult to build a whole new world in a reader's eyes. It took a while to really get into the main part of the story, and the plot seems often to disappear and lose focus for a while throughout the book. Once it settles and you truly understand what the story is about, the book moves fast. I loved Katsa's stubborn personality and the juxtaposition of her rage and her caring heart. She was unique and beautiful to watch as the story unfolds. Po is a perfect companion for her, with his honesty and his open communication.
It was a sweeping tale of a journey through this strange land. It definitely had that epic tale kind of feel and I thought the author did an amazing job showing me this world and the characters in it. Definitely a good read, well recommended if you like YA fantasy.
Posted by Sarra Cannon Wednesday, March 24, 2010