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Graceling

A young adult fantasy book by Kristin Cashore.

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The Grace to Kill

  • Jul 5, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
I fully admit to picking this book up for the gorgeous cover originally. Then I placed in my pile of TBR and forgot about it for a few weeks. I picked it up again this past week and read straight through it in two nights. The story moves along, each new plot thread blending with the previous ones so that you're not certain when (or if) something ended.

The book itself is divided into two parts. Part One, 'The Lady Killer', focuses mainly on establishing our main character of Katsa and what her Grace entails, as well as her relationships because of it. Even though Katsa is eighteen years old, she acts in a much more mature fashion and thinks in a more complex way. Katsa also struggles with a growing conscious of what she has been doing as her Uncle, the King's, strong arm enforcement. If he has a petty problem with some minor Lord, he sends Katsa to handle the matter. In this way he manages a fairly peaceful kingdom.

Part Two, 'The Twisted King', takes us away from the familiar geography of the first part and has us following where Katsa goes. Throughout this part we learn a bit more of how Katsa thinks and her motivations, as well as more about her companion's motivations and thinking. Though in the first part Katsa has a secret society of do-gooders (The Council, which tries to right wrongs throughout all Kingdoms, but not necessarily to the benefit of the ruling King), and had bent the rules in regards to other orders given to her by her Uncle, she had never truly been free to do as she liked.

The relationship between Katsa and Po is obviously more then Katsa realizes. It takes several hearty blows--in the first part and later in the second--but the bond between the two is so strong its hard for Katsa to ignore.

Our villian, King Leck, actually isn't a paramount threat until about a third to half way through the book. His machinations are felt from the first chapter, but his threat level only becomes clear after a string of unrelated events finally makes sense.

Fire is set 30 years prior to the events of Graceling and will be due out in September of 2009. She is currently working on the sequel to Graceling, set 6 years later and featuring Bitterblue as the main character.

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More Graceling reviews
review by . November 28, 2010
I loved this story, despite my issues with the audio version that I'll get to at the end of this review.   It was fairly easy for me to sink into Katsa's world from early on in the book, her feelings regarding her grace and what she was made to do with it, and how she saw herself as a person. I loved how her feelings changed after she met Po, and she started seeing things a little differently.   The romance between Katsa and Po was believable and not overdone imo. A lot …
Quick Tip by . August 06, 2010
An engaging young adult fantasy novel with an believable heroine.
Quick Tip by . August 04, 2010
Great new supernatural world by a new author. Try also "Fire," her other book. You can tell that they are Young Adult novels, but that's one of my favorite genres. There's a third coming out next spring, I think.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
This book is for someone who loves characters that have special differences.
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
Enjoyed it until the last couple of chapters, which felt unnecessary to me. But over-all was good. Some really good moments.
review by . February 15, 2010
"Graceling" has been highly recommended to me by a number of people and so I have to say that I was stunned that I didn't find it to be the fantastic read that everyone else did. What makes this even harder to understand is that I read Cashore's "Fire" first and quite liked it.    My first observation was that I was over 100 pages into the book before anything of note seemed to happen. Yes, there was the evil king, and there were the sidekicks, the introduction of the love interest, …
review by . May 06, 2009
Graceling
Katsa's Grace (a special ability she possesses that is indicated by the dual color of her eyes) rules her entire life. She is Graced with the ability to kill, and is forced to be her corrupt uncle's assassin. Discontent with her life and her actions, she begins the Council, whose mission is to aid and protect citizens from their power hungry and sometimes ruthless leaders. It is while she is on a mission for the Council that Katsa rescues Prince Tealiff, the elderly father of the Lienid king, who …
review by . April 26, 2009
Katsa's Grace (a special ability she possesses that is indicated by the dual color of her eyes) rules her entire life. She is Graced with the ability to kill, and is forced to be her corrupt uncle's assassin. Discontent with her life and her actions, she begins the Council, whose mission is to aid and protect citizens from their power hungry and sometimes ruthless leaders. It is while she is on a mission for the Council that Katsa rescues Prince Tealiff, the elderly father of the Lienid king, who …
review by . March 08, 2009
Feel free to ignore my opinion as I didn't make it past page eleven before returning this book to the library. I picked it up because a friend recommended it and the idea sounded interesting. However, I have a thing for believability even in my fantasy novels.    First, the fight scenes aren't very realistic. (One of the very first fight moves the heroine does don't sound possible to do as described...at least, not without getting a leg cut off.)    Second, …
review by . March 02, 2009
"'I don't kill men who steal three acres of lumber from the king', she said, 'and then pay for it dearly in gold. It's more the sort of crime that warrants a broken arm or the removal of a finger.' She moved toward him and pulled the dagger from its sheath. He breathed slowly, staring at the eggs and fruit on his plate. She wondered if he would vomit or begin to sob. But then he moved his plate to the side, and his overturned glass and his silver. He stretched his arms onto the table before him. …
About the reviewer
Alexandra Cenni ()
   I mainly review books for my blog Poisoned Rationality, Amazon and Goodreads.
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Wiki

If you had the power to kill with your bare hands, what would you do with it?

Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

Graceling is the first book in a series, and Kristin Cashore’s first work of fiction. It sets up a vivid world with engaging characters that readers will certainly look forward to following ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 015206396X
ISBN-13: 978-0152063962
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: Children's Books, Teens
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (October 1, 2008)
First to Review

"Fresh new author"
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