lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015


Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction.
Publisher: Harcourt
Year: 2008
Ranking: 3,5/ 5

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…

The Author

Kristin Cashore (born 1976) is an American fantasy writer. She grew up in the Pennsylvania countryside, the second of four children. Her debut novel, Graceling, was published in October 2008. The book has been nominated for the Andre Norton and William C. Morris awards, and is held in over 1000 libraries. Her second book, Fire, came out in October 2009, and is described as being a 'prequel-ish companion book' to Graceling. Her third book, Bitterblue, was released 1 May 2012. All three books were a part of the Graceling Realm series.

Personal Experience with This Book

This review will be short for two reasons: I read this book so long ago and I did not like very much.

The story focuses on Katsa, who is a Graceling. It is said that Gracelings have a special ability that helps them a lot which for Katsa has also been a problematic one. Her "Grace" is to kill and this makes her uncle, who is the king of the kingdom where she lives, to use her as his personal assassin. Katsa however, not simply accept everything her uncle says and has a small secret organization which is responsible for ending the injustices that exist across the kingdom and outside it as well.

We also have Po, a prince who is looking for his grandfather. This is the main reason why Katsa and he get to know each other. Po also has a Grace, fighting. Katsa and Po become friends because Po is one of the few capable people of fighting her without Katsa worrying about killing him.

These two protagonists embark on a journey that will take them to discover certain things that have been hidden for long. Those certain things have as much to do with Po’s family and the organization created by Katsa. And that is where the story unfolds.

I really liked the story and characters but I felt there were too blank points while reading it. There were many things that happened that left me speechless and not necessarily because they were incredible but rather by the fact that they had no sense at all. A clear example of this is the severe case of insta-love that the story has. Suddenly these two were close friends without realizing one day they began to have feelings for each other. One as a reader knows that these two will end up together, they complement each other spectacularly and have a great chemistry but the way in which author project the love between the two is unconvincing. I have read many cases Insta-love that makes more sense than this. The insta-love develops in one single chapter. They had know each other for a while and the suddenly they are in love. Even so they have never had feelings for each other before neither any physical, intellectual whatever type of attraction up to that. And that's just one of the problems that I found in the book, but if I keep mentioning them this review will go forever.

Po and Katsa as main characters are awesome, however and apart from the insta-love. I loved that both were so strong and they were so determined to what they wanted for their lives. I think that gave the story a new flavor because you do not expect that the end is really fairytale style one as in many other books. They felt like real people and that gave points to the plot and writing with which I really had problems with.

By the time the book reaches the final chapters I was absorbed by the story. Because suddenly it changes from a slow pace type of story to have that quick step and action that you expect from this type of fantasy. I also liked the interaction with Katsa and Bitterblue, this girl was just great to be a princess.

The book is good but not memorable. The story is well posed but has too many black holes where one as a reader feels like "meh" and I think the author leaves many things out of the story that could have had much more potential. When I read it I liked but when I was not reading it I was not eager to read it again  and this is something I take much notice to give my rating to a book. Also, when I finished I realized the other two novels do not continue with the story of Katsa and Po, who themselves were like those who gave the nice flavor to this story - not their romance but their personalities. This fact discourage me a lot, because I would keep with the series I would have liked it to expand Katsa and Po’s story. Although I'd like to read Bitterblue in the future, I do not have it in my next reading soon. Perhaps I’ll read it in the future but is not a sure thing.
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