Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: Audiobook 6/1/09
About the Book: (From the jacket because I could not come up with a good summary of my own) 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.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: One of my co-workers told me to read this one a year ago. I even bought a copy and had planned to read, but other books kept coming first. So when I won a copy of the audiobook from Miss Danaidae, I knew it would be the perfect read for the trip to ALA.
Why oh why did I not listen and read this one earlier? I LOVED it!! It was the perfect blend of romance, fantasy and adventure that even though I'm not a hard-core fantasy fan, I could still enjoy it. The writing is amazing and Ms. Cashore pulls you into the plot. I was amazed at how captivating the storytelling was-I never wanted to stop listening.
Although it's a fantasy, Graceling is very much a romance. So much so that my husband, who is somewhat of a fantasy snob, thought there was too much romance and not enough fantasy. But what does he know, right? ;) Plus, for someone who wants a good mix, this was perfect.
The romance between Katsa and Po is wonderful. It's slowly developed-not a we just met and we're madly in love thing. You really get to know both characters and you understand the attraction and why their relationship works which makes it even more romantic. And Po-sigh...you can't come away from this book without a crush on Po!
But with all that romance, that doesn't mean the adventure gets left out. Ms. Cashore balances everything nicely and Graceling is a well-rounded novel for fans of any genre.
The audiobook is produced by Full Cast Audio, who I think did a fabulous job with Graceling. Each character had their own actor, as well as a general narrator for the non-dialogue. The cast all sounded wonderful and they make sure they have age-appropriate casting, which means the young princess Bitterblue is voiced by a young actor. Everyone in this cast fit their roles perfectly. Thanks to the voice acting and the vivid descriptions in the book, I could see this one being acted out in front of me.
Hurry up and pick this one up before the prequel Fire is released in October.
Fun fact about this audiobook: The character of King Lek is narrated by Tim Green, who is the author of Football Genius, and Bruce Coville, author of one of my all time favorite series, the Nina Tanleven mysteries, narrates King Ror and is the creater of Full Cast Audio. I love multi-talented authors!
Full Disclosure: I won this audiobook in a giveaway