Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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.
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.
Actual rating 2.5 stars.
Whoa...hold on to your horse Katsa. Lemme explain why
*sigh* I feel as if I have betrayed this book and its fans. One thing, it took me about half a month to finish this. So, I don't think it's fair for me to review a book which I couldn't even remember some parts of it. I don't know, Graceling just didn't grab me, it lacked the spark I was looking for. The progress of the story was very slow for me and honestly, I could not understand why because this was supposed to be all that I ever wanted to read.
Trust me when I say I was really, really looking forward to read Graceling. The idea of a female assassin in an epic fantasy set in somehwat a medieval time was so, so appealing. It sounded irresistible like a unicorn dipped in nutella, leaping over a double rainbows.
But after few pages, I got distracted. In every sitting! Yes, some people did have issues with Katsa being portrayed as this man-hating lady killer, it didn't bother me so much because I sort of understand why was that, and why she refused to get married and bear children. She did not have an ideal father figure to begin with, the closest one she had was that sadistic uncle of hers, Randa.
And I would be traumatized as well if I had killed my cousin when I was eight years old.
There was a little inconsistency with Katsa's characterization in my opinion. She dared to disobey Randa's order for the sake of this one lord (can't remember his name. Katsa supposed to torture him so that he gives up one of his daughters) but in the wood, while trying to rescue Bitterblue, she didn't feel sorry to kill Leck's soldiers. They were innocent too, their mind was being controlled by Leck!
Po was quite charming. I liked his sort of bohemian style. He was sensitive and patient. Hmm...what else. It was quite a relief as well because at first I thought that their Grace were like X-men superpowers but the Grace proved to be very dynamic. I mean, the Grace were kind of like a separate characters on their own, not even the Graced truly understand what they actually possessed.
I think the aspect that truly killed my interest was the writing. It sounded detached from the readers (at least for me). The author was describing all these mundane things; horses, leaves, fire, I just felt it was not worth spending time reading about all these. I expected the action sequence could save the book, but not really. I didn't find my heart pounding faster while reading it.
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