Thursday, January 29, 2015
Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa is graced, highly-skilled in a specific activity. Her grace is killing and is used by her uncle King Randa to brutally enforce his will. This leads to her being something of an outcast. Katsa resents being used as a weapon and the world where competing kings play their games without regard for the common folk but can't openly defy him. Instead she forms a council of like-minded individuals to do what they can for the people. On one such mission Katsa rescues an old Lienid man who turns out to be the grandfather of the princes of Lienid. This leads to Katsa meeting with Prince Po the youngest of the princes, and a graced fighter himself ,who wants to discover why his grandfather was kidnapped and who did it.
The strongest point of this novel is that it is very much character driven. Katsa's journey of self-discovery takes center stage and I particularly enjoyed the way Cashore showed the way Katsa upbringing effected the choices she makes and the way she reacts to events.
World-building is solid and I liked the concept of graces, especially how they are often mis-perceived.
Pacing was initially on the slow slide but gets into it's stride about a third of the way through the book.
Overall Cashore delivers a strong character driven novel. 8/10,