Graceling, by Kristin Cashore was a peaceful and delightful book about personal growth and self-reflection. Katsa, a Graced fighter, feels her only purpose is to be her King’s bully stick, meting out consequences to Lords that disobey their king. It isn’t until she makes her first real friend in Po, a Graceling Prince from another kingdom, that she discovers that she can be more.
It took me a little while to get into this book and even by the end, it felt muted, almost as if I was experiencing it with cotton in my ears or without my glasses. I definitely felt for Katsa and the characters as they went along their journeys and I wanted them to succeed, but the world felt flat and not particularily fleshed out. I noted while looking for a cover image that this a part of a series and I’m not sure I would read another. The diction was very even and while the writing nearly flawless, there was little done to differentiate character voices or narration from dialogue.
However, it was engaging and I do recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice, peaceful read. There are moments of fighting and action, but most of the book takes place on a journey or in practice sparring sessions that hold no extreme tension. Katsa is a worthy hero and Po is a great foil. I think many older elementary age students or middle school children would definitely enjoy it.
All in all I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars on this blog and 4 out of 5 on Amazon. Check it out for yourself here.