This is one of those books that I've had on my shelf for years. I bought it when it first came out and tried giving it a read, but after a failed attempt (I had to have been 14 or so, and there are some scenes that would probably have been a little less than appropriate for me) I put it back on my shelf. When I picked it up again it was for two reasons, one, Kristin is coming to my city for a Bitterblue signing, and two, Trish Doller said it was an awesome book, and I have thus far loved all of the books she has recommended I read. Graceling is one of those unusual YA books for quite a few reasons. One, there is some mature content that some people might find a little upsetting, especially if you're allowing someone younger then the age of 16 or so to read. The second is that even though the words and such are not very complicated it was a slow book to read. I'm sure this makes me sound like an idiot who likes books with small words and pretty pictures (and I do, there are some great books like that out there) but this book just required more attention than most of the books that I read. All in all though it was a really good book and I understand what all the hype is about. Katsa was a great character, she was a strong female lead, and even though she does start off cold she grows on you, and she's fierce. I also loved the fact that Bitterblue played a pretty large role in this novel and that Katsa will play a pretty good one in Bitterblue. I loved all of the other characters as well, although with all of the strange names I had a little trouble keeping up with them all. Po though, Po was great, and I really want someone like him although I would NOT fight Katsa for him. It was a little weird seeing my name "Grace" used so many times, but once I got used to it it didn't seem so weird. According to Trish Fire is her favorite so I look forward to reading that one (and Bitterblue) as well. All in all this was a stunning debut and I'm glad I get to meet this very talented author (and now that all the books in the series are out it's even better) and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for her next book/series.
4.5/5 dust spirits