Monday, January 3, 2011

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Publisher: Graphia.
Pages: 472.
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Graceling is another one of those books that makes writing reviews difficult because you can’t seem to find the words to appropriately sum up your love for it. This book was simply incredible; an action-packed fantasy adventure with a heartfelt romance and kick-ass characters.

Katsa is so strong and independent that it’s easy to quickly love and respect her. Growing up in a kingdom with an uncle that prisons her and forces her to use her Grace to torture/kill, she still has her beliefs and dignity in tact, even if she can be stubborn at times. Those beliefs are questioned when she meets Po, a Graceling prince, but Po … *dreamy sigh* Po is so sweet and understanding that he inadvertently softens her. And it’s so admirable that their relationship slowly develops. So many novels make a leap into the romance so hastily, but Cashore leaves us absolutely begging for a first kiss between the two.

Even the smaller details and characters of the book contribute to the greatness; Bitterblue, Raffin and Oll, the side characters in Katsa and Po’s life, aren’t in the novel for very long, but it’s enough to make you fall in love with them. And the carefully designed Seven Kingdoms and the personalities of the kings that rule them make the book seem so authentic.

Overall, Graceling is a fantastic tale of love, freedom, self-control and self-discovery. It was epic and heartwarming and just - gah - so good. If you’re like me and have dragged your feet at picking this one up, take my word for it and run to the bookstore to get yourself a copy! You won’t be disappointed!

Other reviews for Graceling:
The Hiding Spot.
The Book Cellar.
Harmony's Radiant Reads.
WORD For Teens.


  1. I loved it just as much as you did! ^_^

  2. I have this sitting on my shelf ever since last year and everyone seems to love it! I hope to get to it someday. :)

  3. Awesome review!! I have to read this sometime XD

  4. This book and Fire are my two favorite YA fantasy's. Kristen Cashore is amazing!! Great review!

  5. I took me forever to read this one, too but I'm so glad I finally did last year. It's just like you write in your review: totally major awesome. I bought Fire right after finishing Graceling but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

  6. Glad you enjoyed it! I LOVE Graceling it's one of my all time favorite ya books!

    I liked Fire as well but not quite as much as Graceling. And even though they tout it as a "companion novel". There's practically no overlap so don't be disappointed!

  7. I read it (in french) i like it but not love. It's so fast but i like this type fantasy

  8. i just read this book and loved it as well...i too could not even write a proper review because i loved it so much! - jas

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  10. raceling is well-written with some grand adventure, musings on talents, as well as characters who actually grow and change as they learn more about themselves. It never goes for the cheap shot in action sequences although they aren't the focus of the story. In other words, I liked it. Even the few philosophies that I didn't agree with made me think. That makes it a book worth reading.