Friday, December 10, 2010

Book review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My summary:
The graced ones are marked by their eyes, the left and the right eye has one color each. Katsa is a graceling, her grace is killing and for that she has been used by the king, her uncle, almost her entire life. Ever since she was a little girl she has been trained to fight and has had to do king Randa's bidding. Katsa is the king’s finest weapon. Almost everyone in the kingdom is afraid of Katsa.

Without the king's knowledge Katsa has started a secret council, a council that does missions in the name of the good. One day Katsa rescues a kidnapped Lienid, a mission that change her life for ever and give her the courage to stand up to the king.

Book trailer:

My thoughts:
I’m sure most of you have read excellent reviews of Graceling before so I’ll try to keep mine short(edit: It looks like I need to rehearse on my skill to write short reviews). To think Graceling was Kristin Cashore's debut novel is just unfathomable to me, it is such a great fantasy adventure story. Somehow I believed there would be some magic in this story but there isn’t, and I didn’t miss it at all, the novel does very well without.

At first I was really hung up on one thing, stupid of me really, and that was the fact that Katsa’s name was so much like Suzanne Collins Katniss(in The Hunger Games trilogy).  As I started getting more and more into the story I luckily forgot all about that.

Katsa is such a great character, she is strong yet she is very vulnerable. Throughout the novel Katsa slowly changes into a more confident person, it feels very real considering how her life has been like. Cashore has also created a set of wonderful supporting characters for the reader to fall in love with. To name a few we have Katsa’s cousin, Prince Raffin, who loves to experiment by making all kinds of medicine, then we have the graceling fighter from the kingdom of Lienid, Prince Po and the intelligent Princess Bitterblue who had to grow up way before her time.

The romance in this novel is so sweet and feels true, Katsa doesn't fall in love within five minutes of meeting the guy. The relationship develops over a bit of time and the boy she falls for is kind and gentle. No bad boy, at least not in this first book.
The cover:
The girl on the cover definitely looks though enough to be Katsa but I do feel that is a little to dark.

My rating of this book:
4 stars out of 5

Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews written by some of my book blogging friends:
The Modpodge Bookshelf
My favourite books 
The Neverending Shelf  
The Book Nerd Club
Confessions of A Book Addict
Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Want to know more?
Add Graceling to your Goodreads wish list.
Read Kristin's blog 

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Published: October 2008
Pages(paperback): 352
Publisher(my UK copy): Gollancz
ISBN: 015206396X (ISBN13: 9780152063962)
Full disclosure: 

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries. 


  1. Graceling is one of my favorite book. I listened to the audio version, which was a full cast audio complete with music and a voice for each character. I adored Po and found Katsea to be one of the strongest female characters I have ever read about. Enjoyed reading your review.

  2. I have been hearing great reviews. Well I haven't read Hunger Games, but I am sure I will eb bugged by this too lol!

    I am glad this is so good because I want to read this one so much!

  3. I loved this, it felt like such a great old fashioned fantasy tale. I've got a copy of Fire on my TBR tower, I really keep meaning to read it but keep getting distracted by other books. Your review of this has made me think about it again, so I'm gonna shift it to the top of the pile so I read it soon!

  4. Nice review. I did think I would love it..but then I was bored, so not the fantasy for me. Too YA

  5. I loved this book. I just got lost in it so fast and the characters had me rooting for them the whole time!

  6. Graceling is one of my favorites - what a fantastic tale! Great review!

  7. I have this sitting on my shelf and have yet to find the time to read it. I've heard great things and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  8. I have this book, and I really like it. Just curious though, I have the English version, and in it, the MC's name is Katsa, not Katsea. I was just wondering whether Katsea was her name in the Norwegian version?

  9. Jan: The audibook version sounds amazing!

    Veens: I hope you'll like it when you get the chance to read it :D

    mummazappa: It really was a great story. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Fire.

    Blodeuedd: I'm sorry to hear that you were bored. It's always so disappointing when it happens with a book you thought you would love.

    Lisa: I agree. I also love the fact that Cashore didn't leave us with a cliffhanger ending.

    Alyssa: Thanks :D

    Mishel: I hope you'll enjoy Graceling when you get the time to read it :)

    Lily: No that would be my mistake, because I also read the English version *blush* I wrote Katsa at the very to and then I'd written Kastea throughout my review. I've corrected it now, thanks for letting me know :D

  10. Yay! So glad you read this one. I just think Cashore is amazing full stop. I agree with everything about Katsa and Po and their sweet, sweet relationship.

  11. New Follower, I have been wanting to read this book for awhile, but never got around to it. Love this cover, is that the Norwegian one?

  12. I already have this book but I am too bogged down with work and stuff to start it!
    Great review!!

  13. Great review! I really liked this one as well, it was different from books I usually read :) And the love story was very realistic and developed slowly - unusual in books ;)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)