Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was hooked by the middle of the book. This is a fantasy story about a girl named Katsa who is "graced" (born with) a special ability to "kill". Her uncle, King Randa, uses her ability to his advantage. Katsa is his personal killing machine. Soon, she meets "Po" who is also "graced". They set off on an adventure to find Po's grandfather. It was their story that hooked me. Kristin Cashore built the tension between Katsa and Po so slowly, it felt like I was watching a pot boil, and you know how painfully slow that is...yet you watch anyway! And once the simmering started, I couldn't stop reading.
The world Cashore created felt real, believable, like Middle Earth (although not so detailed and steeped in ancient lore). The main characters were rounded, full of spunk. The twists through the forest were well worth waiting for. It's certainly a YA book, with one "sexy" scene that sort of through me off (I wasn't expecting it), however, it was handled very tastefully and appropriate for high school. Can we say YA-14? I'm sure I will be reading the rest of her books. Graceling
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