Graceling – Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
ISBN: 9780547258300
Pages: 480
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Source: Purchased from the Sony E-Book Store
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the publisher’s website:

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.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I’ve been hearing great things about Kristin Cashore’s Graceling.  I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Fire, which has been called a “companion” to Graceling.  While it is not necessary to read them in order, I decided I wanted to go ahead and give Graceling a try.

I have to say, Graceling wasn’t what I expected at all.  It is an extremely creative novel, and Cashore manages to avoid many of the YA fantasy clichés.  She really has created something new and entirely unique with Graceling.  I was extremely impressed with her imagination, as well as her ability to create a vivid world merely with her words.

I really liked the character of Katsa.  The novel had some heavy issues at its center which she faced through the course of the novel.  What is the nature of free will?  What does it mean when your talent is killing people – does it make you a bad person?  It makes for an interesting and thought provoking read.

While it did keep my interest, Graceling moved somewhat slowly for me.  I had some trouble getting through it for some reason.  It was just in no way what I was expecting.  While I think that’s a good thing, it did throw me for a loop and the novel did move more slowly because of it.  Still, I really enjoyed this novel.  If you’re a fan of YA fantasy or are looking to start reading the genre, I definitely recommend Graceling.

Comments

  1. Oh no not another book to be added to my ‘wish list’ – Graceling sounds like it could be a really good read. Perhaps in the mean-time I’ll see if I can get a copy of Fire. Thanks for the review.

  2. Oh no not another book to be added to my ‘wish list’ – Graceling sounds like it could be a really good read. Perhaps in the mean-time I’ll see if I can get a copy of Fire. Thanks for the review.

  3. I really enjoyed Graceling, I just finished it a couple of days ago. I too expected something a little different, but I loved what I got!

  4. I really enjoyed Graceling, I just finished it a couple of days ago. I too expected something a little different, but I loved what I got!

  5. I just bought this on audio. When I finish my current mystery, I’m thinking of this. I let you know what I thought.

  6. I just bought this on audio. When I finish my current mystery, I’m thinking of this. I let you know what I thought.

  7. I’m glad you said it is “extremely creative” and :manages to avoid many of the YA fantasy cliches”; otherwise I would have passed this one by! Add another to my to-read list!

  8. I’m glad you said it is “extremely creative” and :manages to avoid many of the YA fantasy cliches”; otherwise I would have passed this one by! Add another to my to-read list!

  9. I really enjoyed both this book and FIRE. I can’t wait until more from her. 🙂

  10. I really enjoyed both this book and FIRE. I can’t wait until more from her. 🙂

  11. I have the audio version of this on my ipod. It’s the first time I’ve had an audiobook that was a ‘full cast recording’ rather than a straight read by one person. So it’ll be an interesting experience in multiple ways when I get around to listening to it.

  12. I have the audio version of this on my ipod. It’s the first time I’ve had an audiobook that was a ‘full cast recording’ rather than a straight read by one person. So it’ll be an interesting experience in multiple ways when I get around to listening to it.

  13. I have to get my hands on a copy of this one, I got Fire at BEA and, like you, would prefer to read Graceling first. I’m glad to know you enjoyed it!

  14. I have to get my hands on a copy of this one, I got Fire at BEA and, like you, would prefer to read Graceling first. I’m glad to know you enjoyed it!

  15. Considering how much I love both fantasy and YA, it’s a wonder I haven’t read this book yet! It sounds like one I’d love.

  16. Considering how much I love both fantasy and YA, it’s a wonder I haven’t read this book yet! It sounds like one I’d love.

  17. I’ve heard almost nothing but good things about this one, I really am going to have to get a copy at somepoint!

  18. I’ve heard almost nothing but good things about this one, I really am going to have to get a copy at somepoint!

  19. I’m having a hard time imagining what a slow read for you is – it took two hours? =) I don’t know how you do it!

  20. I’m having a hard time imagining what a slow read for you is – it took two hours? =) I don’t know how you do it!

  21. This JUST came in to the library (;literally, my email just notified me a minute ago). I’m excited bout it but for some reason it sounds eerily close to Hunger Games for me. Maybe because the protagonists are similar in name and discussions of war are found in both? Not sure.

  22. This JUST came in to the library (;literally, my email just notified me a minute ago). I’m excited bout it but for some reason it sounds eerily close to Hunger Games for me. Maybe because the protagonists are similar in name and discussions of war are found in both? Not sure.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It’s not like the Hunger Games at all. I loved it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It’s not like the Hunger Games at all. I loved it.

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