Welcome to my feature, Pastime Pleasures, posted every other Friday. Today is the turn of Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Here I will look at books that have given me great pleasure in the past. These are books I can read over and over again. The only rule is that the book must have been published five or more years ago.
Graceling is a lovely fantasy where those with magical ability – a grace – are shunned or even feared by the rest of society. Their graces can vary from the useful to the obscene and it is their different coloured eyes that give them away.
Katsa has the Graceling of killing and is exploited by her uncle to torture and control the people he rules. Yet Katsa rebels and refusing to change herself in order to conform to society and what is expected of her. She remains herself.
This is a book that will leave you rooting for Katsa and Po’s relationship to flourish while you explore a semi-medieval world from the eyes of those with special abilities. Can Katsa find the villain of the story? Can she accept Po’s love? And will she ever come to terms with her Graceling?
I think this quote from Graceling sums up Katsa’s inner turmoil throughout the book: “When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”