Feb. 1st, 2017

juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Title: Graceling (Graceling Realm Book 1)
Author: Kirstin Cashore
Narrator: David Baker
Published: Full Cast Audio, 2009
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 400
Total Page Count: 203,520
Text Number: 624
Read Because: personal enjoyment, audiobook borrowed via Hoopla from the Multnomah County Library
Review: In the world of the Seven Kingdoms, some people, marked by heterochromia, have uncanny magical gifts called Graces. Katsa's makes her a dangerous warrior. Graceling has a slow start. The writing is almost unforgivably wooden (even worse in audio, where the repetitive sentence structure glares; the Full Cast recording also adds unfortunate musical bridges) and the book leans heavily on tiresome YA tropes. But it's the way that Cashore deconstructs these tropes which makes Graceling a success, emphasizing communication, decentralizing the romance, and interweaving interpersonal relationships and personal growth. This a debut and it feels like one, earnest but uneven—but it has a depth that surprised me, that made me invested and which kept me from bouncing off of it the way I do most YA. It stands alone, but I will probably read the sequels.

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