Graceling Review

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I just finished reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and I have to say that I'm very excited to be reviewing this book!

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. Taken from GoodReads.

It's hard to even know where to start with this book, so I'll try to be logical and begin with the cover. I'll admit, when I saw this at the bookstore, I wasn't the most keen on reading it just based on the cover alone. I read a lot of sci-fic and crossover fantasy, but Graceling is straight fantasy - something I'm not necessarily the most into unless I particularly know a novel, and I didn't know this book. I'd only read one review, but it was a good one, and the hook caught me, so I decided to buy it after all.

Graceling follows Katsa, one of the few in her Kingdom blessed with a remarkable Grace - the ability to fight and survive. However, she's been used by her uncle, the King, for years. She's earned a reputation for killing, and people fear her, as they often fear the Gracelings. When Po, a Prince of Lienid enters her life, he manages to reach her through all the distrust and convince her that she is worth more than being a hired hand, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. Embarking on a long and difficult journey to Monsea to discover the true meaning of Po's Grandfather's kidnap and help his royal cousins, Ashen and Bitterblue, Katsa discovers love, and happiness, and trust, all of which she's never experiences before.

There's far more to Graceling than just that, but I don't want to give away an ounce of the story. I have to say, though, this book far exceeded any expectations I might have had. Kristin Cashore has created a tale of love, self-discovery, happiness, sadness, and truth. This has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars, hands down.

And, for those of you who loved this book as I have, you'll be excited to know there will be a sequel, though there was never intended to be one originally. The story, aptly titled Bitterblue, will follow young Queen Bitterblue as the lead female protagonist, but don't worry - Po and Katsa will return for more!


  1. I really want to read Graceling. I have it on my TBR pile so I definitely need to read it next, since you made it sound really good.

  2. Great review! I'm so glad you decided to buy this, and I admit that I was a little iffy about the cover as well - it's pretty, but sort of implies a traditional fantasy tale (if that makes sense). I'm 100% with you on the the 5-stars, and I can't wait to read Bitterblue!! :D

  3. This book is on my TBR list, I've read a few chapters. It looks good. Great review :)

  4. Ooooh, I've gotta read this one. Agh, there's so much for me to read, it's overwhelming but exciting at the same time, haha. Anyway, I'm going to read it. The cover looks appealing and so cool!

  5. I still have 2 read this book! I hear its really really good :D

  6. I love your reviews. I have heard wonderful things about this one. SO glad it met your standards I don't want to hear a bad review because it might determine if I read this, after all I am not for 100% fantasy.

  7. I'm eager to read this now! If no books arrive in the post today...I may get to start it.

  8. Great review!

    I'm also eager to get my hands on this book.

  9. I've heard so many good things about this book, but I've been quite reluctant to pick t up because it's strictly fantasy. I may have to check this out now.

  10. I'm convinced :D I have never read any negative review about this one, so...will get to read it :D


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