Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
How I found it/why I read it: This is one of those reads I just kept hearing about and had to get my hands on.

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.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the character growth in Katsa, especially the growth in the first part. Above everything else, I think that this book focuses on Katsa and as she comes to find her true self, and not what others have made her to be. Po (despite the name that always made me think of Mulan and Teletubbies) also made a swoon-worthy love interest. Cashore also describes details of setting so well, I could just picture the type of location they would shoot for a movie. Around the middle, however, it starts to slow, and for quite a few pages. Overall though, there was always something interesting going on.

Other information: There is a companion novel Fire to Graceling and another companion novel is in progess, tenatively titled Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore's website is here.


  1. I enjoyed Graceling, too, but I liked Fire even better. :)

  2. To me one of the essential things for a story is plot, and I found it rather absent in this book. It is much more romance than action, which wasn't really what the summery advertised (not that I don't like romance, I just don't think false advertising is fair). The characters seemed a little flat and far too predictable (something that goes beyond consistency) and they didn't really change all that much. She is supposed to be a mercenary and yet she fears killing, am I the only one that think's that odd? Oh well, I'm not saying some might enjoy it, but I certainly didn't and I don't suggest you waste your money on it.