Graceling - Kristin Cashore This book was recommended to me by a couple of geeky friends and boy was this ever a great rec! I really enjoyed this story.

It had everything but the kitchen sink and yet somehow flowed very well. There was adventure, there were superpowers, there were evil monarchs and benevolent ones, there were damsels in distress as well as damsels to the rescue, there was self-doubt as well as confidence and of course a touch of romance. There was a satisfying ending yet also room for the story to continue - which does happen since there are at least 2 more books in the series.

There were lots of things to love about this book but it wasn't a perfect read. The fact that the story went in so many directions made it somewhat uneven and the characters jumped from one state of being to another too quickly. There was one section (the birth of the romance) that irritated me because one of the characters uttered a very "you make me want to be a better man" line i.e. a very modern attitude line that was powerfully inconsistent with the world building up to that point.

These negatives are very small and can be overlooked easily because, taken as a whole, this remains a very good and strong entry in the world of modern fantasy. Highly recommended!