In Kristin Cashore’s debut novel, Graceling, she tells the tale of a young teen protagonist, Katsa, who is blessed with the ability to kill. The novel has no major faults; nothing that actually jumps out at readers as a flaw, but at the same time it holds no values which separate it from other books. Cashore follows the general ideas of a young adult fantasy strictly and barely breaks from any of them. The same goes for the plot: it may be enough to entertain the reader, but nothing that captivates to the point of finding time in a schedule to read it.
The story is set in a world where a select few have either been born with or develop at a point in life a Grace. This Grace can come in any form from athletic ability to storytelling, and for Katsa it is the ability to kill. Since a young age, she has been used by her uncle, a king of one of the world’s seven kingdoms, as a killer, and despises her ability for the fact that the rest of society ostracizes her for it. The tale is based around her and Prince Po, the main love interest in the story, as they attempt to save the young Princess Bitterblue from her dastardly father, King Leck.
As the plot progresses, the characters undergo the typical young adult transformation in which they come of age and mature. Katsa and Po hold the usual romance, though it is relatively unique in Katsa’s inner conflict and how she is unsure of whether she ever wants to accept the idea of marriage and having children.
Cashore’s work is smoothly written, but this does not make up for the fact that it is doesn’t break away from other young adult fantasies. It is no more than just another book. So if a reader is a fan of the genre and isn’t looking for an excellent read, Graceling provides with a well-written, if average, novel. By Shayan Ahmad <firstname.lastname@example.org>