Pub Dates: Book-Oct 2008 / Audio-Jan 2009
Length: 471 pages or 12 hours
Narrator: Katsa is voiced by Chelsea Mixon*
Series: 1st in a series
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, 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. (from Goodreads)
Love! Can't believe it took me so long to read this one! I feel in love with every single character - even the disagreeable ones :) I love fantasy and Graceling is pure in that form. Very epic in it's story telling. Both in words and in the audio features. I really was drawn into this story fast!
Katsa is one of my new favorite fantasy female characters (say that 5 times fast ;) Even though her world is purely fictional and the circumstances of her life could never be replicated, I still see her as an excellent role model for young girls. She has to overcome so much but she never, EVER gives in. Even her flaws are admirable.
And Po! Oh how I fell for Po! Such a lovable character. Ever action of his seemed so very genuine and true that even the most critical of readers would find it hard to dislike him.
The story held a very deep mystery that I didn't realize at first. As the layers were uncovered I became even more invested in the story. Really a complete package of fantasy young adult awesomeness!
Have to say, I didn't much care for the audio of this book. The voice actors were spot on - and there are a lot of them. Each character has his / her own unique actor / voice BUT the musical interludes (chapter endings, dramatic 'ah!' moments) were so cheesy! They really sounded out of place. I was reminded of those read-a-long stories I listened to as a kid - like say the hero is running really fast up a flight of stairs, there would be fast paced tinkling bells after the words "Our hero ran very fast up the stairs". Yeah - really hokey in my opinion and a little distracting to the story.
Would have to recommend the print version of this book over the audio book. The story is amazing and if you like fantasy you'll love Graceling!
Overall Story Rating:
5 / 5 Stars
Overall Audio Book Rating:
3 / 5 Stars
Books in The Seven Kingdoms Series:
Bitterblue (June 2012)
Full Cast Audio
*Just as the name suggests, Full Cast Audio books feature a full cast of voice actors. For the complete list of cast members in Graceling, visit their website.