Kelsey's Reviews > Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
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Jul 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult-favorites, kelsey-s-100-books-of-2009, to-reread-summer-2011
Read in January, 2009

My journey into the world of the Seven Kingdoms began and ended in one day. That's right, one day- I started this book at about nine in the morning and finished it around five, and all I can say is wow. Just wow. I am completely blown away.

Let me explain something. I was intially disappointed when I started Graceling this morning- the first part of the story, although interesting, struck me as flat. The characters did not seem to be fleshed out and there seem to be very little plot or character development. So as I finished the first part, I was surprised when I turned the page and immediately found myself careening down a whirlwind literary adventure that struck me out of nowhere. Unlike most books that start out at a fairly even haul and continue onward to their finish, Graceling is a river that starts with a small paddling pool and ends up with you, the reader, frantically paddling down Level 5 rapids. This books starts out slow but it gets better and better and better and by the end, you're wondering how you ever survived without reading it. So if you plan to begin reading it, beware- once you get past the first part full of exposition, you cannot put this book down- literally.

I truly think the best part about this book was the character development. I'm not normally one to extol the virtues of this- character development, smaracker development. But in this book, although the fantasy aspect is intruguing, it is the characters that truly stick out in my mind. The novel takes place over some period of time and you can truly see the three protagonists grow. The valiant Katsa. The multifauceted Po. And finally Bitterblue, the girl who grew up into a queen in the space of 100 pages. That is the true beauty of this story. The characters start out as skeleton ones with bare details and simple traits. Then, before your eyes, they begin to grow- muscles develop, features intensify, and all the sudden, they change before your eyes into real people. This progression for me seemed completely natural- there were no long speeches or psychology lessons to flesh them out- they discovered themselves on a long journey, Like a lot of other characters. Only, trust me when I say, there are not other charactes or stories like these. As if possessed by the spirit of Robin McKineley or Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore has managed to create another wonderful, wonderful world full of timeless characters I want to visit again and again. Read it and remember your own voyage of self-discovery, whenever it took place in your life.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Pamela (new)

Pamela I'm totally jealous! Not only did you have a great adventure with a book/story you loved but --my gosh-- you spent one entire day reading! I can't imagine being able to sit from 9-to-5 reading, uninterrupted I assume! I haven't had that amount of 'free time' for ... well, way too long. Lucky you! Sounds like a story I might want to read... but maybe I better put on a bathing suit, or even a wet suit and helmet before starting.

Kelsey Haha, I actually was in school the entire day- although with the amount of attention I paid to my classes, I might as well have not been there. I have the science of reading inconspicuously down to a fine art.

Chris Sorensen Kelsey - thanks for a wonderful review. I was looking to do my review today and was reading through others and yours is PERFECT. The feeling about the pacing in the first part of the book, but picking up, and the character development. Bitterblue was def my favorite character in the story, by far. Great job, thanks for putting my thoughts down for me;-)

Caraline really well said :) I very much agree

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