Saturday, 25 February 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, #1)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 471 pages

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.     
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.

WHY did no one tell me to read this book earlier? Oh... wait... you all did. Sorry about that.

If you were here a couple of weeks ago, you might have seen my Why Fantasy Rocks post, inspired by Graceling. Now, you can probably imagine that this isn't a very normal occurence with the books that I read. Hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea as to how much I seriously loved this book!

If I could use one word to describe Katsa, it would be a survivor. She does whatever it takes to keep herself alive and is probably the most fierce character I've ever read about. She has this focused, determined air about her and the strength comes in buckets. This isn't to say though that Katsa is a cruel, heartless killing machine. Kristin Cashore does such an excellent job in adding dimensions to her character that show her vulnerability and her deepest fear that she really is a monster.

The other two characters that really stood out to me were Po and Bitterblue. Po was a fabulous character and really perfect for Katsa. He had a more laid-back demeanour but could definitely hold his own in a fight. I thought it was amazing that even though Katsa wasn't shy about showing him up at times, he just accepted it humbly instead of sulking over the fact that he'd been beaten by a girl. HUZZAH for a guy that isn't intimidated by a girl being able to do something better than him. Then there was Bitterblue! I was bouncing around in my seat when she was first announced since the book with the same title is due out soon. I must say, I can't wait to read it! Bitterblue was young in this novel but already her tenacity shines through. I loved the relationship between her and Katsa!

The world that Cashore has created is nothing short of fantastic. The Seven Kingdoms seemed so well-developed with their visual descriptions, political plots and different rulers. It's kind of crazy to me that I could feel like I knew so much about a character without even actually meeting them but that's what was happening. Over and over again. The Graces were also an extremely well-done (not to mention cool) idea.

A new favourite!

Cover Comments: I like the use of colour! The eye reflecting off the dagger (or is it a sword?) is kind of creepy but it does work well with the story. I love how fantasy this cover looks!


  1. Mwahahaha. I love it when you end up loving things we recommend (coughMERLINcough). I absolutely loved Graceling! Katsa is definitely a survivor, and totally badass. I really liked Bitterblue too! Such a cool character. Great review, really glad you enjoyed this one :).

  2. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! AMAZING review, Sonia! Crazy excited that YOU'RE crazy excited about Graceling :D Now please hurry up and read Fire and write an incredible review so you'll force my hand in grabbing a copy myself :D

    Katsa and Po were amazing. I loved them as individuals and as partners! <3 And Bitterblue! AH! I really want to read her story, so we come back to you. Sequel. Read. Now. Convince. Brodie.

  3. I just love love this series. And cannot wait for the third book to come out. I am so jealous of people who have an ARC copy!!


  4. I enjoyed this one a lot! It's not a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed the fact that there's actually a strong female for an mc!

  5. WHA?! NO ONE told you to read this before? If I had have known I would have been nagging you CONSTANTLY :O:O:O

    Oh, I LOVE how you've described Katsa... it would be so easy to MAKE her a monster, but it's that fear that she WILL become one, or already is that keeps her check, humanises her, makes her wonderful.

    And oh my, Po ♥♥♥
    I love him SO. SO. much, and he broke my heart.

    LOVE your review! LOVE LOVE LOVE! So SO glad you loved it! EEE!

  6. I LOVE Graceling, it's awesome. And Leck always, always gives me shivers and makes me want to vomit everytime I think of him. Voldemort was always cool and an adorkable awkward hugger. Leck is just evil.