I loved this book both in print and in audio. It is exciting, fast paced and has an awesome storyline filled with both adventure and some romance.
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This is the first time I have listened to a full cast audio production and wasn't sure I would like it but it was excellent. I was surprised though that the narrator was a male voice given it is about a female protagonist.
Katsa is a strong heroine who because of her grace can hold her own in any situation. No she does not want to get married for the reasoning that in her society the men expect their wives to be the traditional housewife taking care of the kids, entertaining guests and serving their husbands. This is not what she wants for her life and there is nothing wrong with that - not everyone needs to marry and bear children to be fulfilled in their life (btw I am married with 3 kids).
Yes there is one pre-marital sex scene in this book where she loses her virginity - it is NOT graphic and is 3 paragraphs long. The second sex scene in the epilogue that has been referred to is non-existent as the sex is inferred and not described in detail. I would have no problem letting my teenage daughter read this novel.
Kristin Cashore has released a second book called Fire which is just as excellent - it is a companion book to Graceling - ie about the same "world" but there is only one character that is in both books and that is Leck so both books are standalone. I am very much looking forward to her third book Bitterblue hopefully coming out in the next year or two.
Unlike the some of the other reviewers, I actually enjoyed Fire more than Graceling. There are some big differences between these two books- they alm..Show More »ost don't belong to the same series. However, I really liked Fire, the main character, because she wasn't as hot-tempered as Katsa. I really enjoyed the conflicts between the different parts of the Dells (the country). I found this book to be engrossing, exciting, and smoother overall than Graceling.
Set in a different location but same world as Graceling, there is only one character familiar to readers of the first book. The story has a broad rom..Show More »antic streak through it - if you enjoyed the relationship of the protagonists in Graceling you'll enjoy more of the same in Fire. It is still a fantasy novel though, and fantasy themes are fundamental to the story.