July 29th, 2013

Book with cat 1

Book #33: Graceling, Book #34: The Flesh Cartel

Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

A couple chapters into Graceling and I was ready to quit. The main character, a teenage girl, was the best fighter in the world. She was literally impossible to beat. Barehanded and unarmored, she could fight and beat more than a dozen armed, armored, and trained knights. And her eyes were two different colors.

Sounds like the very picture of a horrible character, doesn't it? But I'm glad I stuck with the book, because it was darned good. The main character had enough flaws to balance all that power, the plot was interesting, I loved the world, and the other characters were great. (The writing was good, other than the author both didn't know how to use semicolons and had a great love of them. I kept hoping she was using them incorrectly for style reasons, but I think it was just that she didn't know better. Sad!)

In the fantasy world the book was set, a few people were born Graced -- they're the best in the world at something. It could be something useful, like fighting, designing weapons, riding horses, or it could be something somewhat helpful, like being able to bake the very best cherry pies in the world, or it could be totally useless, like being the best person in the world at spotting pictures in the clouds or counting backwards. Also, all Gracelings have two different color eyes. (And what a fun RP setting this could be! There would be so many fun Graces people could RP out!)

I've been trying to figure out how to explain the plot without spoiling it, but I'm failing. I'll just say that three interesting people (two with Graces) team up to get to the root of a mystery and then have to deal with the evil they find.

Graceling is part of a trilogy, which apparently can be read in any order. I bought one of the other two already, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

[Edit: Flesh Cartel moved to its own post.]