Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Posted April 5, 2013 by Sophia
5 Comments

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Review: Graceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling Realm #1
Published by Harcourt on October 1, 2008
Genres: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Physical
Source: Library


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.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

I’ve heard both good reviews and bad reviews, so like any book, I’ve had mixed feelings. But I’ve been wanting to read Graceling since I saw it sitting on the front shelves (where all the Gateway/Truman Award Books are at usually) last year. I just never got the chance to read it until I put it on my 2013 TBR Pile Challenge list (hmm… maybe joining challenges can do me some good after all).

I’m glad to say that Graceling wasn’t as bad as I feared it might be. It might be me and fantasy books, or it might just be because Graceling was different from other books I’ve read. It does have a really pretty cover though.

Like any typical fantasy book, there’s a different world. In this world, people with an extreme talent or skill are called Gracelings, and they are generally feared by ordinary people and are “outcasts.” The main character, Katsa, has the Grace of killing and works under King Randa of the Middluns, until she meets Prince Po of Lienid.

What’s really surprising is how the author manages to not make the villain very obvious off the bat like other books would normally do until later in the story, when Po and Katsa are actually discussing possible suspects *breaks off sentence before too much comes out*. Who knew such a Grace could be so deadly and powerful?

I’m wondering though, if the villain is gone here, are the other unpleasant ones going to be the villains in the 2nd or 3rd book? No spoilers please!

There are a few parts in Graceling that are probably not recommended for younger/immature (not that I’m calling younger ones immature – there are mature ones as well) people to read. Consider yourself a bit warned. 2020 Edit: Wow, this was peak Sophia. Who was she to decide this?

Sophia has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House crisis. Unlike her personality in blog posts, she's a socially awkward recent college grad who majored in Communications. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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5 responses to “Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

    • I had mixed feelings at first, but I think I'll be interested in reading the rest of the series eventually 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  1. I almost forgot to come check out your review :O
    Anyways… Lovely review hon, so glad you liked it, though I think the action scenes will be fine for younger readers.

    • Oh, I don't mean the action scenes, lol. I meant the scene that happened between Katsa and Po…
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂