Simply spellbinding. I'll admit to some bias -- I'm absurdly fond of stories with heroines who can wipe the floor with everyone else (especially her leading man) and heroes who are humorous and brave instead of broody and dark, and Graceling gave me that and more. Not one single character in this was static, and everyone who should matter to the readers mattered a great deal to me. The action was brilliant, the survival scenes nerve-wracking, and the villain truly odious and well-deserving of his fate. I love this book and that's all there really needs to be to it.