I’ve picked Kristin Cashore mainly for one book; Graceling. I don’t know what it was about this book that so captured me, but capture me it did. I’ve since re-read it several times and loved it every time. There are not a lot of books I can enjoy as much the second time I read them, but this one I did (and the third, and the fourth).
Like when I read Eoin Colfer’s books, I read Graceling and think I would like to write something like it one day. The other thing I’ve noticed with Graceling is that when I read it I can’t look at the structure or the word-smithing because I get too caught up in the story and characters. That’s the sign of a story-telling and I’m all about story.
It is probably no coincidence I have an affinity for YA writers given I’m mainly a YA writer when it comes to my novels, and Graceling embraces everything I love about writing YA. It covers mature concepts, relationships, even politics, without having to get graphic. Too many fantasy books written for adults have gore and violence to the extreme, sometimes getting lost in those things. But I’ll get off my soapbox now.
I know this book won’t appeal as widely as perhaps some others I’ve picked for this top ten, but I come back to it so often, with such affection, it would be a crime to leave it off the list.