mine: kristincashore

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

By Kristin Cashore

Truthfully, I picked up this book because I saw that Tamora Pierce wrote praise for this book on the back. Plus, I’m not so sure about this now, but I used to love butt-kicking heroines (Maximum Ride, anyone?).

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Summary (from back of book):

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 lean a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

My Thoughts: This book captured me the moment I opened it. It had electrifying, pulsing, graceful moments, following each other like heartbeats. The plot was a great mixture of action, fantasy, with a bit of a romance entwined. 

This fantasy world was very enjoyable to read. The story takes place in a land of seven kingdoms: the names were thankfully easy to remember, and the war/politics going on just draws me in like a moth to a light. *whistles* Oh how I love fantasy. 

The main character, Katsa, is a wonderfully strong heroine. I absolutely adore her. She’s likable in the way that she knows her strengths and weaknesses, and is not afraid to them (and they are pretty hard to admit–I mean… my weakness is killing people… gosh). Her voice in the novel shines through even when written in third person. A character of few words, you learn a lot from what she doesn’t say, which is always engaging. 

You immediately feel a kinship with her because of her easily identified strengths and weaknesses. The male protagonist, Po, is a strong water to her fire, yet they both share a stubbornness that I frankly covet. When they are together, you can’t help but glow, because their particular blend of contrasting personalities, while not particularly safe, causes awesome fireworks.

To make this clear, this book also has a complex plot. It’s not solely based on the romance. Po and Katsa accidentally stumble onto a deadly secret, which some very powerful people will do anything to keep. Their adversary is just as powerful, if not more than them. 

There are many complications and twists to the plot, but sometimes I felt out of balance. So much emphasis was put on Katsa, her character, her problems, her worries, and her relationship with other people (mainly Po), that I actually felt side tracked when the book concentrated on the plot. The resolution of the story could have been more spread out and more detail given, but overall, it was an exciting plot. 

To me, the interactions between Po and Katsa was still the bright point.

How it Impacted My Life: In one part of the book, Po and Katsa were talking, and he said:

 “Katsa, you can hunt, make the fire, beat me to a pulp when we fight, and I won’t be humiliated, only humbled. I’d thank you if you’d like.”

(*side note: see what I mean about the awesome character fireworks? Po and Katsa are SO, um, hot.)

The impact on me was realizing the difference between humiliate and humble. Forget about Katsa needing to refine her mind–I wish I was as smart as Po!

Conclusion: This book is exciting, fast-paced, witty, and has a strong heroine. She is uniquely independent, and one of the only people in her world who are truly free to make their own decisions, yet she is afraid of her own power. Follow her story and quest about how she threw away the chains cast on her as a child, and stopped being the beast everyone thought she was. She is Katsa, the Wildcat, and forever free.

Rating: 9.1/10

Graceling

Author: Kristin Cashore

Overview: Deadly Grace

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 Graces 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…

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OMFG BITTERBLUE!
  • All I can say about this book is, well…
  • I'm so fricking speechless! Even though I'm only part way through, I'm constantly 'asdfghjkl'ing!!!! I don't want Cashore to stop writing books!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhh!
  • Also check out my goodreads: Blood_dragon
  • Thanks,
  • BloodDragon out