I liked this book, although I didn't realise it was Young Adult fiction when I bought it. It wasn't a huge problem but you can tell it's YA which results in it being a bit tame. If I was in any doubt that Graceling was a fantasy novel, I need look no further than the naming of locations. As usual the land is split up between rulers and the place-names have arrived at their monikers by virtue of compass direction. I forget exact names because they're not that memorable but if I said North town, West town, East town and South town then I wouldn't be far off the mark.
However, the idea of Graces more than makes up for the unimaginative geography. I love the idea of people with superpowers that are everyday talents boosted to infinity. A grace can be anything from brilliant pastry chef to pitch perfect singer or someone might find themself graced with the ability to spot a lie at 50 paces. It's difficult to blend in though if you find yourself with a grace, because you also find yourself with different coloured eyes....a dead giveaway.
I thought the story itself moved along pretty fast but the romance element that ran through it wasn't really much of a romance and there wasn't enough spark to make what little there was believable.
I liked the ending and it got quite nailbiting towards the finale and the book is not without some really hateful characters who make you root for the heroine.....but it's not a book I'd go back to.
It's worth reading though, just for the novel idea of the Graces.