Monday, February 1, 2010

Review of Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Pages: 471
Published: October 2008
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads:  "In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king."
This is the first book from the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy and I must say I really enjoyed it.  I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf since August and finally picked it up now. I wish I had read it sooner!  

Katsa, the main character, reminded me in many ways of Katniss from Hunger Games.  She was strong, independent, tenacious, courageous.....everything you would want a good heroine to be.  She possesses the Grace of killing, which makes for a very interesting read as she follows her path of self-discovery.  She has many good male friends, which I thought was a nice touch, and her one male love interest, Prince Po, was my absolute favorite character.  There are many other characters that you meet on Katsa's journey and they are all memorable, such as Bitterblue.  I love the names that Cashore gives to the characters....they are so unique and fun.

I felt the plot was very original and I loved how Cashore combined elements of fantasy, adventure and romance.  Lovers of true fantasy will thoroughly enjoy this book and combined with Cashore's masterful writing style, it becomes evident why so many readers adore this book. 

Graceling reminded me of Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander's novels, which in my book is a mighty compliment.  Cashore creates an entire world and even includes a Tolkien-esque map so you can follow Katsa on her journey.  Yes, the novel is very long, but Cashore is a masterful storyteller and picked up the pace when she needed to. 

I was thrilled to find out that there would be two more books following this novel, but then was promptly disappointed to find out that the next novel, Fire, which is already out, isn't about Katsa, Po, and the other characters I've come to enjoy. I was very angry as I wanted to see how things turned out, but then I realized that Cashore didn't leave it as a cliffhanger and she did tie up all the loose ends.  Perhaps, I am so used to the usual suspense when finishing a novel, because I have been reading so many series lately? 

Fire is actually a prequel and it takes place thirty years before Graceling.  I hear there is only one cross-over character; however, many are saying that Fire is actually better than Graceling. The third book, which is currently unnamed, is from Bitterblue's point of view and does include many cross-over characters (Phewww...I was worried!).  One thing is for sure, I will be putting Fire on top of my TBR pile as I long to learn more about this world that Kristin Cashore so expertly created.
Buy It Here:

Book Trailer: (Be forewarned- the trailer is super cheesy)


  1. Great honest review! I don't really remember much about this one, but I do remember thinking that Katsa and Katniss were pretty similar (except I think I liked Katniss from HG a bit more).

  2. Thanks, Lea! I agree- I like Katniss a lot more than Katsa!


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