This is one of those books that has been on my shelves for years and because I’d heard mixed things about it I put it off, but after finally getting around to it I can safely say that I really enjoyed this book!
It is difficult to review this book without mentioning its similarities to Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder; the premise is similar with it’s kick-butt female lead and evil villain, and its brutal take on the YA genre. Cashore doesn’t shy away from the violence or the sex in this novel, yet it is handled in a way still suitable for the YA audience.
Some readers have said that there is insta-love in this book and although I see where they’re coming from, I didn’t really see it that way. I felt that the relationship was at first overshadowed by Katsa’s feelings about herself, but it blossomed when she overcame these.
I flew through this book in just two days and will definitely be reading the second one. Despite its similarities to Poison Study, I think that this beats it in my opinion because although I liked Snyder’s brutal honesty and detail in her novel, Graceling seemed to have a much more developed world, a world that was simple enough to understand without too much information being dumped on the reader all at once.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to the rest of the series.
4 out of 5 stars!