The blog lands have been a-buzzing about Kristin Cashore's Graceling. The reviews have been very positive, so I picked up a copy to read.
First of all, I'm a bit worried about my observation skills. I did a Google search to find an image of the book's cover--and noticed there's a huge, angry eye in the sword looking out at me. My first thought was, "oh, that must be a different edition than my copy. My copy doesn't have that scary eye on it." I just checked. It does. How in the world did I miss that? After all, I'm the girl that has a "creepy eyes" tag for her blog. I guess I have a lot of work to do before I can join the CIA.
I'm feeling lazy, so here's an edited description of the blot, courtesy of Houghton-Mifflin:
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. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Katsa is a strong, independent heroine. The development of the characters and plot are excellent and I imagine fans of Tamora Pierce will enjoy Graceling. Also, there is romance--and I really liked the male lead.
But honestly, overall, it wasn't a keeper for me. It's a book that I've read and will likely forget--but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good or well-written book. Katsa was just too strong-willed and unable to handle any part of surrender, which I didn't like. Love requires surrender and selflessness; Katsa didn't seem to grasp that at all. She just didn't want to be bound by anyone, which I know is caused by her background. Still, it bugged me. Love requires sacrifice of yourself--but the rewards are worth it.