Graceling by Kristen Cashore
Sometimes when an author squeezes a ton of different genres into one book, it turns into a complete mush, like when you combine a lot of pretty colors and end up with an icky brown. But then, sometimes it's like combining gorgeous colors to get a rainbow. That describes Graceling. I won't spill too much, because I want you to read the book and fully appreciate all the twists and turns, but I can tell you this: there's a bit of mystery, a bit of humor, a bit (okay, maybe more than a bit) of romance, some internal conflict, and a ton of action and fantasy. Plus an excellent story line.
Kristin Cashore puts it together beautifully. She makes the fantasy world real, the fictional protagonist your friend, and the evil antagonist your mortal enemy.
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