When choosing Graceling as a class read for school, I was making a choice based on the descriptions of each book given as options. This book intrigued me the most. Building a strong female character, coming into her own. And she has a special gift for fighting. Cool. Her world does not have guns or aircraft, but they have several Kingdoms on the brink of battle. The main character, Katsa, made it her decision to use her abilities for good instead of for destructive uses. I'm not going to spoil the story when I say that her using her abilities for good sets into motion the whole story. This story tells how Katsa goes on her journey not only for discovery of why someone is trying to pit the different Kingdoms against each other, but also her self-discovery of her true abilities.
As a Young Adult read, its not hard to follow and it also keeps both male & female readers interested. There is a significant mix of both fighting and romance here to make this 400 + page read captivating. Kristian Cashore tells in great visual descriptions both the characters and their environments that I can picture locations as I've read along. The power struggle in the story is believable for the world created. The outcast main character finding someone to connect with is relatable.
For an aspiring writer and film maker, this first novel from Kristin Cashore is really promising. I have also picked up her second book that accompanies Graceling entitled Fire, which I will also be reviewing.