Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

(Graceling Realm #1)
By: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt
Published: Oct. 1, 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy

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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…


1thoughtsKatsa is a Graceling. She was born with a special gift that allows her to fight with extreme skill. She always wins when facing an opponent. She’s been her Uncle’s mercenary since she was young and she’s had enough. When another Graceling comes into the picture, she decides to leave her uncle and take off with the other Graceling on his quest. They come across some enemies along the way who have special gifts of their own.

The world that Kristin creates is amazing. This really didn’t read like a debut novel. She wrote such a great fantasy with strong characters. You won’t find any timid, self-conscious females here. Oh no, Katsa is as rough as they come. She’s not afraid of anything and she’s not looking to get married and have babies. Even Bitterblue (Po’s cousin) is a strong willed 10 year old girl who is wise beyond her years. She doesn’t take things at face value but she doesn’t voice her opinion, instead she seems to observe and take in everything. I really did enjoy all the characters in the story.

The author also does an amazing job with the plot and pacing. There wasn’t a lot of lag time where I was left skimming over pages. There was always something going on whether it was Katsa and her gift, Po and his gift, their journey to save Bitterblue or simply, what it’s like to live during those times. Everything flowed together nicely and I really did enjoy the story. I will definitely be reading Fire.


1favequote“If there’s anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I’ll hit him in the face.”


One Thought on “Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  1. I keep hearing such good things about this series, really does make me want to start it. I like the fact that it’s a series of companion novels, not a straight series where the next book follows on from the last. I’ll be interested to see what you make of the other books in the series.

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