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Graceling

A young adult fantasy book by Kristin Cashore.

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Heartpounding and fast-paced

  • Apr 26, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
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 has been kidnapped by an unknown enemy. When his grandson Po comes looking for him, Katsa and Po begin a tentative friendship in order to discover who would kidnap a harmless old man, and together discover an insidious plot that would drastically affect the entire land.

Kristin Cashore has created quite a vivid and unique world in Graceling. The concept of Graces is quite fascinating, and is the most enticing aspect of the book. Though Katsa is a strong, interesting, and likable character, it may be hard for readers to really get invested in the book until after 100 or more pages.

But around the middle of Graceling, the pace picks up as Katsa finds her independence and her relationship with Po intensifies. Readers will get swept up in the action as Katsa and Po must confront the source of their troubles against nearly insurmountable odds and race against time. Graceling finishes off with a scene that doesn't quite live up to its dramatic build-up, but is satisfying nonetheless. Cashore doesn't quite give her characters the happily-ever-after ending that readers will be wishing for, but rather a realistic and believable resolution that stays consistent with the characters' personalities. Graceling is a dramatic and thrilling read that is abundant with action, political intrigue, and romance that will leave some readers dreaming long after the last page.

Cover Comments: While this isn't the most striking cover I've seen, I do like the colors used, and I love the font used for the title. The weathered look is very cool, and goes with the fantasy genre. It isn't overdone either, which makes the cover look polished, but not too cookie-cutter. I like it a lot.

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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 . July 05, 2009
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 …
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
Tirzah Price ()
Ranked #278
I have a blog called The Compulsive Reader on which I review Young Adult novels, interview authors, post book trailers, and hold contests. I'm interested in anything YA book related!
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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)
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