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Graceling

A young adult fantasy book by Kristin Cashore.

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Fresh new author

  • Jul 30, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+3
What a delight to find a an author who can create a quality young adult fantasy world with an engaging main character. (Graceling is published by Harcourt's Children Books division)

The magic in this story comes through a few individuals, gracelings, who are born with a supernatural ability to do something. Katsa, the teenage protagonist of this story has a "grace" in the martial arts, which she unfortunately found out about when she was eight, by killing her distant cousin. He was a leech and frightened her but that's still an unfortunate way to find what your grace is. As she grows up and gains control over her grace, her uncle, the king uses her as his enforcer and takes delight in using her to frighten and assassinate people.

In the first major action of the story, Katsa meet a prince who also has the grace of fighting and an obvious romance grows between these two gifted people. As people with graces are shunned and are feared by most people, this is predictable.

During the story, we see Katsa coming into herself and doing a bit of growing up. Though the character development in the story is at the simple level I'd expect for a young adult novel, the two main protagonists, Katsa and Po are nice people who both develop during the story. Most others in the story aren't as fully fleshed out.

The plot moves quickly and holds up pretty well through the book. The romance does get sexual but not graphic, probably PG stuff. I fully expect this title to end up as a featured book in the Young Adult section of many libraries.

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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 . 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, …
About the reviewer
michael mckee ()
Ranked #459
I'm a photographer and writer living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I love - in no particular order: nature, good coffee, smooth jazz, mystery novels and speculative fiction. I hike, bike, play … more
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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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