Thursday, July 12, 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore [Review]

4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Graceling By Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Release: October 1, 2008
Hardcover: 472 Pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:

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.

Shannon's Thoughts: 

Yay high fantasy!  With so much emphasis on paranormal and dystopian novels nowadays, it is refreshing to go back to swords and castles, kings and queens.  At least for me.  I grew up on that stuff.  

I really enjoyed Graceling.  I love the idea of “Graces”, a sort of overly developed skill.  Katsa’s Grace is to kill and she works as the King’s “enforcer”.  She believes herself to only be good at being a thug and not really worthy of much else.  Katsa is very much at odds with her Grace.  Until she meets Po, a prince from another kingdom.  He shows her that there is so much more to her that just being a killing machine.  And for the first time Katsa encounters someone who can match her skills.  (As a side note - I LOVE Po.  I am adding him to my list of book boyfriends - haha!).

From there the story really takes off as Po and Katsa set off to rescue a princess in another castle. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!).  The best part of the story for me is the relationship that develops between Po and Katsa.  It is sweet and sincere.  But, I should also acknowledge that Katsa’s views on femininity, marriage and children might rub some readers the wrong way.  I didn’t agree with her assessment, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the book.  

Cashore is a lovely writer.  I enjoyed her descriptive writing style and dry sense of humor.  There are a few times I actually laughed out loud over the characters' reactions.  My favorite by far is when Katsa is calling to Po in his mind.  

I’m a little sad to learn that the second book in the series, Fire, isn’t a sequel, but more of a “companion” novel set before the events of Graceling take place.  The third in the series, Bitterblue,  takes place 8 years after Graceling, but it has some of the same characters - so I’m excited to read that one.  Maybe it will tell me what happens to Po and Katsa!
If you enjoy fantasy, then you will likely enjoy this one too! Highly recommend!

1 comment :

  1. Awesome review! I loved this book! I enjoyed Fire also even though it has different characters. I really like the heroine in it. I have Bitterblue, but have not yet had a chance to read it. :)
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.



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