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Review: Graceling

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Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Publishing: October 1, 2008/ Harcourt/471 pages
Format Read: NOOK
Source: Purchased
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Summary (from GoodReads): In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.When she first meets Prince Po, who is 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…a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

My Thoughts: 
I didn’t think I was going to make it through this book. It started off SO slow and I still don’t like Katsa. Cashore is a talented writer but I feel like this book didn’t live up to it’s potential. I was intrigued by the 7 kingdoms and by the prospect of Graces but on the whole this book left me wanting more.
Katsa really irritated me. I understand she had a tough life, really, I do. But she just rubbed me the wrong way. I’m all about the strong heroine model but I felt she was more obnoxious and underdeveloped than anything. On the other hand, I adored Po. His Grace is awesome and he has got to be the most patient, nicest guy on the planet. Seriously.
Another gripe- I hate all of their names. Katsa, Po, Bitterblue… I know beggars can’t be choosers and that Fantasy names are always usually a littly wonky but Idid lots of eyerolling throughout these 471 pages.The only reason this book didn’t get 1 egg? King Leck and his daughter. The whole book should’ve been less journeying/ feeling sorry for Katsa and replaced with Leck and the Princess’ story. I NEED more Leck.
Finally, classroom shelfability: Graceling would for sure have a place in my classroom library. My middle schoolers would eat this book up.
At the end of the day, I can’t honestly say that I’m interested in reading Graceling Realm #2. I wish the story would’ve expanded more on the kingdoms and Graces– then I’d be in.

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