Graceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore


byKristin Cashore

Paperback | August 24, 2009

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Discover the Graceling Realm in this unforgettable, award-winning novel from bestselling author Kristin Cashore

A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Winner
Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and BCCB Best Book of the Year

Rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns" ( The New York Times Book Review) with "a knee weakening romance" ( LA Times ). Graceling is a thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure that will resonate deeply with anyone trying to find their way in the world.

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa's Grace is killing. As the king's niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa's life begins 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 .

Awards: Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, winner of the SIBA Book Award/YA, Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2008 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year,'s Best Books of 2008, 2008 Booklist Editors' Choice, Booklist's 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, 2009 Amelia Bloomer List, BCCB 2009 Blue Ribbon List

And don't miss the sequel Fire and companion Bitterblue, both award-winning, New York Times bestsellers, and full of Kristin Cashore's elegant, evocative prose and unforgettable characters."
KRISTIN CASHORE grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a le...
Title:GracelingFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:512 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.21 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.21 inPublished:August 24, 2009Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0547258305

ISBN - 13:9780547258300

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid read It was a good and fun read and I was never truly bored. It would probably be a 5 star read if not for some anticlimactic elements. But it was still a really good read #plumreview
Date published: 2018-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece Cashore is a master at drawing you into a world and keeping you there #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Teen Favourite! I super enjoyed this book when I was younger! I remember being really intrigued by this book even though it was a bit of a marry sue. The story was as interesting as the cover.
Date published: 2018-08-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I was expecting more I bought this book because it seemed interesting : strong female character, a little bit of fanatsy and special powers... seemed promising. This book have a great beggining, I wass really into it, but then the story started to drag on a little bit... I mean, the first half of the book is spent looking for a kidnapper, but there's not much else going on. Then there's the second half. It was not bad, but I felt that this book had so much more potential. I was expecting something more epic I guess... I read it all and kind of enjoyed it as an easy read before going to bed, but I feel like this story fell short a little bit. Like there are many missed opportunity to make something better with this storyline...
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this book The character's in this book stood out to me the most. They are very well done, each complex and holding their own secrets. I loved the built up romance throughout the book, and the dialogue was so well done. I highly recommend to any fellow fantasy lovers!
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't wait for the next books! I will definitely be reading the companion books to this novel! The characters are wonderful and believable and really make you care for them and their struggles. I think this would be a great novel if you are looking for a strong female protagonist who respects herself enough to stand up to social norms and do what is best for her and her body. I hope Katsa (protagonist) will appear in the companions to guide the other characters. The romance in this book is also superb, it was healthy and loving and super refreshing to read. 5/5 stars.
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Fantasy! After finding Sarah J Maas' books and adoring them I had a hard time finding books that made me feel the same way that Throne of Glass did when I read it, until I picked up Graceling!!! Cashore does a fantastic job at creating a world and letting you discover it as the book goes on, no info dumping which is nice. Also the relationships between new characters do not feel rushed or forced, she takes her time exploring love interests and the connections characters have to help create a realistic circle. The ONLY downfall of this book is that it is kind of a stand alone novel, where the second book in the series in told in Bitterblue's perspective, not Katsa's which I need more of!! 4.5/5 stars
Date published: 2018-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing such a great book! i loved the characters and the world was very interesting
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wished there was more to it... I picked up this book on a whim because I really loved the premise. A kick-ass, female character who is born to be great at killing and conflicted by her loyalties? Sign me up! But as I read it, I started to get really excited about where the story could go, but felt like it fell flat every time. I honestly feel like the concept and world contained in this book has so much potential, but it almost felt like none of it was capitalized on… I tried really hard to enjoy it, and though I made it to the end of the book, I just felt like it fell short and missed a lot of really cool opportunities.
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Read At Your Own Risk I enjoyed the premise of this book. It had some action scenes as well as some tasteful romance throughout. But let's get real, the only reason I finished this book was because of Prince Po! I did not enjoy Katsa's personality whatsoever. The only thing I like about her was her name. My major complaint is the stigma Cashore tends to put on marriage throughout the entire book. Okay now let me elaborate on the aforementioned complaint. Throughout this whole book it is implied that if you get married, you lose yourself and your freedom. *eyes roll so far back that I see my brain*. There is nothing wrong with marriage, or being in a common law relationship or being single. Honestly, Cashore's implication left a bitter(blue) taste in my mouth, so much that I am not continuing this series. I recommend Graceling as a standalone only because I really enjoyed Prince Po's character. That's it. Bye, girl, bye.
Date published: 2018-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Why I ended up loving fantasy books A kick-ass female lead in a kick-ass book. Definitely check this book out #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Reading One of my all time favorite books, I aften go back and read it over.
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting and Heartracing The character dynamics were great and the plot had a lot of turns to it. Its one of my favourite books on my book shelf.
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best, Easy read Great Fantasy book - Start off very slowly, great character build..when you almost 50pages into the book - it get intense and you just want to keep going.. Beautiful world! I enjoyed a lot reading this book.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! I listened to the audio book and it was great, it started out slow but I was always intrigued with the story and I REALLY liked the characters. This was the kind of book I COULD put down and then start up again and still be interested in but not always overwhelmingly so. Rare in a book for me. I did get annoyed with Katsa (and Poe) at times but I could understand why she acted the way she did given her history. I will probably give the rest of the series a try although I do see that people don't like them as much as this one. Still I really liked the characters and the author did a wonderful job at developing them. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Fantasy Book Fantasy is my favourite genre meaning I have a read a LOT of them. To say this is my favourite high fantasy read of all time is a GREAT deal. This has an amazing protagonist, who is such a powerful, kick-ass woman. The romance is to DIE for and the pacing is so great. The writing is so beautiful, the world is so unique. This fantasy book is great for people who are just beginning to dive in fantasy and for those who are already big readers of fantasy. This will not disappoint! It was one of the most underrated books in YA by far. Graceling is what made me love the fantasy genre as a whole.
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful There are so many wonderful things about this book! First of all, I love the world and the concept of Gracelings. It is so refreshing to come across someone with new ideas. And of course the female lead, Katsa, is so utterly kick butt! I love how she can even out-fight Po, the male lead, and he is ok with that. The first part was awesome, when Katsa still didn't know what his Grace was and he kept giving her funny little looks that she couldn't decipher. It made him so mysterious. Not that Po wasn't still awesome later, but your perception of him changes a lot as you get to know him. And once you find out his Grace, you can think back on some of those intense stares and then they are just funny. And the description of his eyes really didn't hurt. But the description of everything, really. Cashore has an amazing way of building a scene and describing the emotions involved, until you know exactly what the characters are going through. It got me very personally invested in the characters and it was a joy to read that. There was so much great action, and Katsa and Po were a great duo from the beginning, even before the romance developed. And once it did, it was so beautiful and heart wrenching, in a good way, because they loved each other so much that they couldn't hold it in. It was beautiful.
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Airport Buy EVER! I picked this up at an airport bookstore because the summary sounded interesting sand it wouldn’t break the bank if it wasn’t a great read! Turned out to be an awesome book which I have hooked many friends onto. A very different and interesting story, totally worth it!
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Game Changer A real Game Changer when it was published, this book started the Strong Female Lead trend. Wonderfully crafted and amazingly written. 100% recommended.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Everything about the plot was great, I loved the characters and it was an enjoyable read. I found myself at times taking breaks more often than in other books, but other than that really good!
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting, with great characters Really interesting magic system - I love the idea that the skills are both overpowered and disadvantageous.
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book! This is one of my favourite books! It's characters are so strong, yet so realistic and the worlds Cashore creates are amazing! I especially love the strong female characters that she designs! I recommend the whole series!
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! I first read this book back in junior high and I can honestly say it was one of the books that made me fall completely in love with the fantasy genre. I usually don't reread books after I've read them once, but this book, wow, I can reread over and over! Love love love!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Read This is a really great fantasy book. I found it very hard to put it down and I flew through al 471 pages of it. My one criticism, and I won't spoil anything, is that I felt some plot points were rushed a bit. Conclusions of problems were anticlimactic and a little disappointing. Overall though, it's a good book and I'm looking forward to reading Fire and Bitterblue.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So cool Awesome fantasy book that really keeps your attention #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great This is a good book if you're into fantasy.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Insanely good book. Great main characters and amazing use of words. One of my all time favorites
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous!! Top notch fantasy adventure.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved loved loved! Beautifully written book, nice characters, good flow. Highky reccomend!
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend for fantasy lovers This is a fast paced, fresh fantasy read with interesting and likeable characters. Love the world that Cashore created, and the way that she uses her characters to bring it to life.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read! Great book. I thought the storyline and the characters were great. It is pretty much a stand-alone book and you don't need to get the pre-quel or sequel to enjoy this. The ending is different than I thought, but still good.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome book! A very exciting book with an awesome female lead. A great book for any teen.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! An exciting read, the characters and world were detailed and well-built, and the plot is full of adventure!
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! My thoughts about Graceling can be summed up with KATSA AND PO ARE EVERYTHING. These two just compliment each other so well and there were numerous times when I just felt so much for these two. Like I couldn't breathe because their interactions were filled with so much angst and love and raw emotion. I just wanted them to be happy and together forever. It was on its way to being a five star read but the last third or so of the book changed direction and I just never felt the intense adoration as I did for the previous two-thirds. There was less of my ship and more of a survival story (which is by no means bad because I really do love those stories), but it just wasn't what made me so madly in love with the story in the first place. It took me forever to finally read it, but I'm so happy I did because I enjoyed this book so, so much
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prepare to be surprised! A friend recommended this book to me and I totally enjoyed it! A perfect mix of fantasy, romance and adventure. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I really enjoyed this book and the way it was able to surprise me.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great fantasy! Fans of detailed fantasy novels and worlds like Middle Earth will love it. Strong characters and intriguing plot will not disappoint
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic, Exciting Read I read this book years ago and bought it recently. It is still one of my favourites and if you enjoy adventure novels (like the hobbit) I'm sure you'll love this as well.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing I loved the plot and story-building of this novel. Also enjoyed the whole "special talent/skill" concept, which was very captivating. The journey Katsa goes on is quite adventurous and the ending is unexpected!
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond expectations! Well, I know that a lot of good has been said about that book, but truly, IT IS very good! I look forward to read FIRE, the sequel.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book! I really love this book. It was one of the first fantasy books that I ever read and it's gotten me hooked on the genre! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Totally recommend this book. I still haven't gotten the chance to read the sequel.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved this book! Totally recommend!
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book!! I can't put this book down! I've lost count of how many times I've read it. Kristin Cashore has created an extraordinary world with realistic, and lovable characters. I recommend this book to all my friends! Great read!!
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good book! I absolutely loved this book! Could not put it down from start to finish. An excellent read!
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Fans of Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley and Anne Logston will love the start of this Phenomenal series. Katsa and Po had excellent "on page" chemistry without being maudlin or mellow dramatic.
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good YA fantasy If you like YA fantasy you'll probably like 'Graceling'. Original enough to keep the pages turning but true enough to the genre to read like another favourite book clearly rooted in the genre of fantasy.
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT fell in love with this book so hard. The story was so fascinating it just pulled me to read more. Definitely one of the best fantasy's I read
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good-ish Lots of good twists, okay-ish character development, and some angsty romance. Alright!
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING This hooked me from the start. It pulled me to read on, my eyes were literally glued to the pages. This was definitely a fantastic read.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Tried I tried reading this book. At first it seemed interesting from the synopsis, however it ended up being a little too childish for me than teen. Maybe I'll give it another go when I've nothing else to read. But I wouldn't say it's anything exceptional.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! This book was very enjoyable, I really liked it! I loved the characters and the story line was enticing and really cool too. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great worldbuilding, some issues I liked the worldbuilding in this one a lot, but Katsa's powers do come off as a bit book-breaking and the nature of the villain is such that the confrontation feels abrupt and kind of anticlimactic. I'm going to try others in the series, but this one fell short of my expectations. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Good An interesting book and good start to the series
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible This was a very interesting read that gained depth as I read it. A great start to this series!
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unexpectedly Engaging I read it at the recommendation of a friend. As an adult, I didn't expect it to be so engaging. The first part was a bit slow but the colourful fantasy world and its characters were so charming that I eagerly hunted down the next two books in the trilogy - and they didn't disappoint! If you like adventure, strong female characters, and fantastical worlds, this is the book for you.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Nice I wasn't expecting anything special from this book. I ended up loving it. I was rooting for the chraracters and longing for them. You guys should totally read it.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I received this book as a gift for my birthday. Although I did not believe that I would enjoy this book, as it is not my typical genre. I absolutely loved it! The plot was very exciting, with many twists and turns. I highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVE IT!!!! GREAT BOOK! I just love this... Totally recommend guys
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from omg I read so many bad reviews for this book, so I wasn't expecting much. But I ended up LOVING this book.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This book didn't really engage me. I couldn't really get into it. Didn't have a great begginning.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I've heard you have one eye green as the Middluns grasses, and the other eye blue as the sky Even to this day, Cashore is still one of my top favourite YA fantasy authors. It's a shame she hasn't written any new books lately. Her idea of Graces or being Graced is very unique and I like how if a character had heterochromia then he or she was Graced with some skill. I absolutely adore Katsa & Po together :P
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book Ever This book is by my all time favorite author. I really wish she would write more stories for this universe. They are so good and tie together so well. I love that the females are strong and independent and don't rely on the guys to save the day.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't capture my attention I was excited when I bought this but disappointed with the pacing and the main character. I couldn't get into the main character, though I love strong characters, I felt like this main character was a bit much. She also came off as unlikable to me. The writing could not capture my attention, I had to put this book down so many times because it got so boring at times.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing So imaginative, and creative, a must read.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond all expectations I thought this book seemed interesting when I picked it up off the shelves, but I never could have imagined just how much this book - and its companions- would amaze and inspire me. I have read them so many times I can't even count, and yet they still capture my soul each time. The story is out of this world, yet relatable all at the same time. You can really feel the characters feelings - their passion and their anguish.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It I loved all the characters in this book! Especially Po!
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from perfection in every way i had to read the entire series after reading this one. katsa is so strong, and i love her determination. love the suspense and i would definitely recommend the entire series!
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful It was the cover that caught my attention it was beautiful and intriguing and the story that followed was just as much
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting The cover is beautiful and immediately captured my attention and the story to follow did just as much
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favourite! I read this book about 4-5 years ago and it remains to be my absolute favourite book! The characters are amazing, the language is beautifully descriptive and the adventure-romance balance is perfect.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book! I could not put this book down. Easy read and a page turner! I love the main characters. Great book. I could not wait to read the rest of the books in the series.
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Love Love I was so happy to find this series! Just amazing writing and storyline!
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow!!! This is for sure one of my favorite books of all times. Re-read and re-read it again. Wonderfully written.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Re-read and a Re-love I fall in love with this book each time I read it again. It is romantic and action packed and raw. Kasta is brave, cunning and strong with a sole weakness to shining eyes. Po is magnificent, he is so full of emotion, life and love. This book will make you want to fall in love, it will make you want to explore and be bold. I will make you appreciate hurt and evil and find the silver linings of life. It makes you fall in love again and again once you are coaxed back into it's pages.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling Every corner brings a new adventure. The characters were smart and very amicable. No character ever did something stupid. Very easy to read and easy to fall in love with. A book that I can read again and again and never get tired of.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE Very fun and exciting book to read. Would suggest it highly.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This was a fun and exciting book. It was unique and enjoyable. Would recommend to others. The spin off books are just as good also.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from :) A wonderful book that is beautifully written, loved every second of it.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Good I really enjoyed reading Graceling. I thought it was a unique and very well written book. It was creative and visual, hard to put down.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Graceling Fun book, interesting story.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Such a good book. recommended all to read it. But be warned, the ending is quite touching
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I liked the concept, I liked the characters, but parts of this book bored me
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book was excellent! I really enjoyed reading it and I can't wait to read the next in the series!
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating From Beginning to End! I read this a while ago and I am still in love with the story and the characters. It has a little bit of everything: self-discovery, romance, action and multiple lessons. Definitely recommend.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! The Graceling series is one of the greatest series ever. I have read this book 6 times and every time I read it, I find something new. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favorite Fantasy Novel! Graceling is a fantasy novel that tells the story of Katsa, a teenage girl who's been given the "grace" of killing, and as so, is often used by her uncle to carry out his dirty work. A change is coming however, and her uncle may have gotten more than he bargained for with this kick butt YA heroine. I love Katsa's character, and her many friendships and her amazing relationship with Po. I can't recommend this amazing novel enough!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not expected I randomly found this book and decided to give it a chance. And surprisingly to me, I actually really liked this book. I think I was starting to move more into fantasy books, and this book helped me realize I did like fantasy.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great read This book is an old favourite of mine, I would definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books :) I recently reread this book and it was still just as amazing the first time
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action-packed I liked this book right from the first page until the last. It was suspenseful, thrilling and heart stopping. Kristin Cashore writes a magical and fascinating tale. This story has it all, revenge, betrayal, and intrigue. Be prepared to lose sleep, because you won’t be able to put it down!
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 10/10 This is one of my favourites! A sort of Katniss Everdeen feel but a little more mystical and in the olden days.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book!! This was a book that I enjoyed thoroughly. It has a strong female lead "Katsa" who is used by the king to do his dirty work. She has the ability to kill or hurt people easily by using her grace. I'm not going to ruin the story by putting spoilers in my blogs. I more or less like to tell my opinion so as to give good insite into wether or not I believe books are worth reading. This book is definitely a book that I would give a good review on. I read this book back in May of 2015. Ya it has been a little while. But I can tell you this book has a great story line and a great main character. I have noticed a lot of books coming out with strong female characters lately. Of course there is no problem with this at all, in fact I enjoy reading books that do so. Anyway, continuing on with my review on this book. She is forced to do the bidding of a corrupt king, to punish anyone who stands in his way. There is a love interest in this story that has a catch to it, and the this book leads its way into the series quite nicely. I of course gave this book a five star rating in good reads. I am looking forward to reading the next in this series. However, not have purchased it as of yet. Would I recommend this book as a read, yes but be sure you have the time. This did not seem as a light read to me. With all the names of the kingdoms and a plot that must be followed carefully so as to understand what is going on. Oh and the cover, beautiful. A real eye catcher when you first pick up this book.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite Really great story. I love badass heroines.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprising I didn't expect myself to like this novel, but I really did. The plot and characters were nice and it's a nice novel to read in your free time.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this one Graceling is one of the best YA books I’ve read in a while simply because of the SUPER AWESOME female protagonist who is a butt-kickin’, sword swinging, mountain lion fighting dame. I know, right? THE DEFINITION of what it means to be the opposite of the Bella Swan-like YA female lead. Very refreshing, especially after Beautiful Creatures. I was sucked into Graceling right from the beginning when it places you in media res — for those of you who aren’t complete English nerds like me, that means smack dab in the middle of some crazy action that’s going down — and we see that Kasta (our fantastic feline) is running a rescue mission for a Council that she’s *ahem* THE HEAD OF. Yeah, this girl’s not sitting around on her butt all day, she gets stuff done. Anyway, we learn that she is Graced with killing and that kinda makes her pretty much invincible, so no one is messing with Miss Kasta. This Grace also causes her a lot of inner struggle in coming to terms with her Grace and not letting it turn her into a monster to be commanded by a hard-hearted king. Who is also her uncle. Seriously, what was with all the family drams drams back then? OH! AND There’s also a super cute prince, a rescue quest and yet an even more evil and more sadistic king, so hey, where can you go wrong? It was great to read a book set in an imaginary medieval fantasy land again because I loved reading those kinds of books when I was a kid. (Eragon and the Song of The Lioness quartet come to mind.) I just forgot how much I love those worlds and I feel like they aren’t getting published as much nowadays. (Sad but true!) This book was definitely worth the read and I will MOST definitely be looking for Fire (the companion) and Bitterblue (the sequel). Kristin Cashore has earned her place on my bookshelf!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book. Anyone who enjoyed hunger games will definitely love this book
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite Book! I read this a while ago and it's still my favourite book of all time, Kristin Cashore is amazing!!!!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written Had me hooked the whole time
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absoultely Amazing It is one of my favourite re-reads as the story just draws you in. The very idea of a grace makes me stand on tippy-toes, as it opens up so many possibilities. The plot was awesome, as you see Katsa slowly begins to let Po into her heart. What I really like about this book is that it greatly balances the romance as well as the action and that it protrays the romance as more of a close friendship instead of girl being all lovey dovey with guy. I have a friend who have also read this book, and she completely agrees with my opinion that it was amazing.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! One of my favourite books of all time!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good I enjoyed this book, and it was a nice, easy read. However, it didn't stretch my mind and my interest as much as it could've.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Solid with good worldbuilding and action, but lacked something Cool fantasy world, great pace, but I was hoping for more character development for the lead, Katsa. She never really gets to stand up to people who've wronged her nor does she really face the bad things she's done? Also her struggles in the plot don't feel as real because she's basically capable of anything, and since we can't confront the villain almost by design, he doesn't get to have much of a presence, so the climax feels somewhat anticlimactic. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible! I absolutely love Graceling, and the whole series! This is such a refreshing take on ya fantasy, all the characters are very well written and strong, even the antagonists. I really like the idea of graces, it just adds another mysterious element to the entire story. Plus is doesn't hurt that the main characters are people of colour, about time fantasy stories include them.
Date published: 2016-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite re-reads! There's just something about the story that captivates you from the start - and has you reminiscing once it's over. One that stands out, and begs to be read again once it's on your shelf.
Date published: 2016-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Great story. Captivating. Love it.
Date published: 2016-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overrated, but still good This story has an interesting, although not entirely new, concept behind it: power is a blessing and a curse, and those born with it are feared and used. But just because this concept isn’t original, that doesn’t mean it can’t be the root of a great story, and it never really gets old. One really unique thing about Graceling in particular is that you never know what kind of power a Graceling will have; there seems to be a different gift for every one of them, and the extent of their abilities is anyone’s guess. Does that ratchet up the suspense or what? Really, it could have been used far more in this story. The fantasy world is effectively crafted (with a very helpful map), but I feel (as I often do) that there could have been more world-building in this story. More world-building and less emphasis on how completely awesome and invincible Katsa is. I’m tempted to use the term “Mary Sue,” but honestly, I’m not sure what that means anymore. I’m not sure anyone else does, either. What I do know is that Katsa is impossible to kill. She’s an expert fighter. She’s incredibly strong. Sure, she’s a Graceling and she’s supposed to be powerful, but the fact that she is so much more powerful than everyone else is, quite frankly, very annoying. Many authors want to write the kind of superhero character that they wish they could be, but what they sometimes don’t realize is that those characters are less compelling to readers. I might have forgiven Katsa’s absolute perfection if she were a nicer person. Instead, she gets away with being a snarky biatch. She also has the admiration of many people, plus the romantic interest of two men (of course.) Po, one of those men, is likeable, but he’s a bit too perfect and has feelings for Katsa for no discernable reason. He could have used a bit more backstory and his purpose could have been brought to the forefront of the story (and his personality) way more. I suppose I sound like I disliked Graceling, but I did like it. It was an adventure story filled with danger and nail-biting suspense. I do remember thinking that the story was slow for a long while, so be prepared for that if you plan to read Graceling. I guess aside from characterization issues, the thing that bothers me most about this book is unrealized potential. There could have been higher stakes, more political intrigue, more nail-biters early on, and, as I said earlier, more general world-building. Overrated? I think so. A satisfyingly action-packed fantasy? Once again, I think so.
Date published: 2016-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Intriging and facinating story
Date published: 2015-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling This book was spectacular. It was action-packed, funny, and more. It kept me turning pages and getting more and more spellbound!
Date published: 2015-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful A modern story for a very progressive time. Brilliantly written though I could have wished for more romance between the two main characters
Date published: 2014-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! A friend of mine introduced me to this series, and I'm so glad she did!!! I think it has to be one of the best series I have ever read! The world that Cashore created is so intricate, and as you read the next to books you will see how each kingdom intertwines. I could not put it down!! Now that I've finished this series, I'm finding it difficult to find another to read after that can even compare!
Date published: 2014-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful All three companion books (Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue) by Kristin Cashore are amazing. I will read most any genre as long as the book is well written. This book, all Cashore's books, made me laugh and cry. I hope there will be more to come from this wonderful author.
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I am a sucker for Young Adult Fantasy. The world building was well done and I am always a fan of a female protaganist who can protect herself in the mist of danger! I would re-read this book.
Date published: 2014-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful One of the best young adult fantasy novels that I have read in a long time. I actually first read this a few years ago out of the my local library and loved it so much that I have since bought my own copy and re-read it several times.
Date published: 2014-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful High spirited character, with an ability that no one should have, especially a young girl. Great story line and perfectly wonderful characters to love and loathe!
Date published: 2014-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful This was a good read, it took me a chapter or two to get into it but loved the story. The imperfect heroine is very well written. It gives a nice fresh theme touching on so many genres, a story and can be enjoyed by adults as well as teens.
Date published: 2014-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book was amazing, so fast-paced and a page-turner. I literally could not put it down. I love the world created by Kristin Cashore and I found her characters had depth. She had a strong heroine who you really rooted for. Of course, I was also a huge fan of the love triangle.
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book is amazing, once I started reading I couldn't put it back down. The author does a really good job at creating characters, and keeping the plot interesting!
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling: Trilogy Book 1 I adored the characters in this story. Their struggles were unique; something I had not read before. I am looking forward to see what happens to the next.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Graceling: Trilogy Book 1 This book had a great story line, but I felt the ending was a little too cliche "Battle against evil, wins against all odds and everyone lives happily ever after." I was actually disappointed in the ending because the story had too much potential to be ended so abruptly. I usually look forward to reading books again in the future, but this is one I wouldn't read again.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Graceling: Trilogy Book 1 I liked the original concept of the book. Most characters of the book are great. However, I just don't find Katsa a likeable character, which made it difficult for me to enjoy the book.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling: Trilogy Book 1 This book is incredible, written strongly and with depth and insight into the characters that you will love for a lifetime. This story follows Katsa, a girl who in a brief moment, would become the most feared fighter... until she would no longer bend to those who would use her grace as a tool. The graced are those with extraordinary abilities that others could never hope to match, with one eye blue and the other green, a physical mark of her grace, she is graced with a killers ability. With her friends guiding her along the way however she meets a strange man with a fighting grace, who is more than he seems. Traveling across the kingdom together to search for those who would hurt this man, they discover a lot more than they bargained for, not only with another's grace.... but between themselves as well. A brilliant story with a hint of romance, a lot if adventure and a dash of mystery. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This was a unique story that draws you right in. The characters are fascinating and I can't wait for more.
Date published: 2013-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite I love this book, One of my all time favourite Full of action and romance I wasn't able to put this book down! Its a one of a kind story
Date published: 2013-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling Very engaging story and its summary does not do it justice. Packed with action, twisting hearts, adventure and survival to save a kingdom that never knew it was in need of saving. A recommended read to anyone who wants to see a world changing its views and characters that constantly improve.
Date published: 2013-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from :D Very good :) read this at school and haven't been able to forget it eva sincee very goodd
Date published: 2013-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Graceling Smooth pace, great characters, interesting storyline. hope to read more of the adventures of Po and Katsa.
Date published: 2013-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Badass I loved this novel. Firstly because Katsa, the main character, is a Total Badass: she's tough, smart, brave, and an assassin with an ultra awesome Grace. Secondly because the writing is great and the plot and fantasy elements are wholly original and entertaining. If you're looking for a kick-ass novel with a strong lead and lots of adventure-action, read this!
Date published: 2013-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grace ling I started reading this with Kira but she dropped off and I kept going. Very enjoyable.
Date published: 2013-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Read! Graceling was such a great book! It had adventure, action and romance. It was descriptive and interesting, I couldn't put it down! I definitely recommend this book :)
Date published: 2013-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mesmerizing and unforgeable. Possibly one of the best book that I have ever read. This book had the tension and struggle I was looking for. The stuggle with either Katsa's own inner demon or with the wickedness from the ouside world, Cashore seems to be able to capture all of its magic with well trained hands and deliver. Katsa is "Graced." A Graceling is a person who is gifted in a certain skill and Katsa has probably one of the greatest Grace of it all. The Grace to kill. This book just flew by. I could not stop myself as the story deepens and Katsa is faced with many decisions and challanges. With the mysterious Po, Katsa is taken on this journey where her gifted Grace may not be able to save her. This magical book took me on a journey very much like Katsa's; decisions, decisions. It's 4am and there is school tomorrow. But this book is not letting me go off to bed. To read or not to read? Purely graceful.
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling I would have much preferred to read Fire first but then again this book was the reason I bought the second and third novels Can't wait for another.
Date published: 2012-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing high fantasy Where has this book been all my life? Ok maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. I've had plenty of excellent high fantasy in my life. There's just something about high fantasy that gets me every time. But that doesn't diminsh how real and how deep my love for this book is. Kristin Cashore has created an amazing world within the pages of Graceling. It was so detailed! and she combined just enough elements from the real world to make it the believable. It never felt over the top or ridiculous. This is the type of world building I can only hope to aspire to one day if I ever get my butt in gear and write my fantasy novel. The world of the Seven Kingdoms come alive in my head when I was reading. And then there's Katsa. She's like the fantasy version of Katniss. Or maybe Katniss is the dystopian version of Katsa? Either way she's a kick ass heroine. She's strong, brave, and independent. She stands up for herself! I may have cheered out loud a few times, I was so proud of her. I also really liked her relationship with Po. It really felt like they were equal partners, which is definitely something you don't see enough of in YA novels. There isn't much more to add. This book is straight up amazing. Final recommendation: If you like fantasy or books with strong female characters this is a must read. Seriously, stop reading my blog and go check it out (and then come read my blog again). This and other reviews at Hooked on Books (
Date published: 2012-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After Fantasy books were my first love when it came to reading, and I grew up on stories bursting with mythology, knights, and princesses (my favourites were those that had characters who could be both a knight AND a princess). Nothing gets my heart pounding and the pages turning like a magical, adventurous fantasy novel! I first heard of Graceling immediately after reading The Hunger Games a few years ago - I kept getting recommendations for it, but for whatever reason I didn't pick it up until recently. Waiting to read this book until now was one of the biggest mistakes in my reading history! I'm convinced that Kristin Cashore is a genius and this book is proof of that. Reasons to Read: 1.A richly developed fantasy world: This is a must for good fantasy books; I need to buy into the magical world and the best ones have a well-established world with its own rules and norms, but with enough similarities that we can relate to them. Plus, I like books that include MAPS of the fantasy worlds. That's pretty legit for me. And the names of places, things and people should be vaguely familiar but not so overdone that they come off as silly and fake. Graceling easily avoids any and all of these issues and stands as one of a few YA fantasy books that works so well! 2.Familiar problems & issues: I don't think it's much of a secret that Graceling delves into some questions regarding the role of women within a society and the obstacles in their way as equal members of society. What may be surprising, however, is how WELL Kristin deals with this and successfully weaves it into the story. I wouldn't call it subtle, but it is oh-so poignant. Katsa is a bit of an anomoly in her world, where women are often mistreated and lack the means to protect themselves; but as she slowly begins to recognize how problematic this is and ultimately questions if she can do anything about it. It's striking, and resonates so well because of how familiar it is to us. 3.Katsa & Po's friendship: I love Katsa, and I love Po! Even separately, they were fantastic characters that I found amusing and amiable. But it's the way that they played off each other and slowly grew closer together that truly sold me on them as characters and their role in the story. Here's a couple you can't help but root for the whole way through; and most of all, I loved seeing a respectful male lead who wants to encourage the heroine and do everything he can to help her in the way she needs and respect her decisions. So, I've now joined the ranks of Graceling/Kristin Cashore fans. I'm KICKING myself for waiting this long to have read it, and I've moved on to Fire already :) Graceling is a thought-provoking and addictive read, one that will leaving you craving more. I could honestly say so much more about this one, but I'm going to save it for a spoiler-filled review, coming soon :) Perfect read for anyone looking for a heartbreaking, emotionally touching, thought provoking read. This one has a well-deserved new space on my favourites shelf; and I can't wait to finish off Fire and then get started on Bitterblue (as soon as I manage to get my hands on a copy)! Thoughts on the audio: A few people had told me that I must listen to Graceling on audio because it was good- and they were right (again. Clearly I have awesome people recommending books to me). This would actually be a perfect book to introduce a new listener to audiobooks because it's Full Cast, although you'll also be spoiled by it for other books. Full Cast is fantastic because it's such a great quality; there are multiple narrators, all of whom are excellent. Plus there's a little bit of background music at times that helps create a good atmosphere for listening to the story. Hands down, the best, most addictive audio book I've ever listened to. WELL worth the cost of buying it! If you're new to audiobooks, or just haven't given this one a try yet then I HIGHLY recommend that you pick it up. Like now.
Date published: 2012-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from :D This is absolutely without a doubt my most favourite book of all time! It's the one book I don't mind reading over and over again. I love Kristin Cashore! She created a totally unique and brand new world where Katsa lives... and don't even get me started on Katsa! I love main characters who are all about girl power! Katsa takes this far beyond any other character I have read about (even Katniss!). My sister (who is also a book fanatic) and I always play a game where we choose one character from any book that we would love to live their story... and my choice is always Katsa. She is my hero!
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply amazing Just about one of the best books ever. It is captivating and interesting and it has a unique story line that pulls you along. I have read it multiple times now, and I will read it again and again! I simple can't wait for bitter blue!
Date published: 2012-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply brilliant Simply written but has a deep story that leaves one feeling a new sense of empowerment. The story pulls you in right away and doesn't let you go until it is over. This is one that I have read over a few times and will read again many more.
Date published: 2011-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes you hungry for more! A friend raved about this book so i thought i'd give it a try. I loved the Hunger games and this was probably a million times better! This book just gets you transfixed from the very beginning and you won't want to put it down. If you liked the hunger games then i'm almost positive you won't be sorry for reading Graceling! Graceling is extremely well written and you will fall in love with the characters instantly!
Date published: 2011-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling I found this book to be everything I expected. It was a page turner and a wonderful read. I highly sugest this book if you liked The Hunger Games serise. I found it competting with being better than The Hunger Games.
Date published: 2011-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i loved iT I feel inloved with it right away! Katsa is an amazing young teen and Po (OMG) is overly handsome! Loved it!
Date published: 2011-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fiercely Marvelous Graceling is about a seventeen year old girl named Katsa who has the "gift" to kill people. And as the niece of a powerful King, her life is not as fabulous as it should be. Being the source of her uncles power, she was forced to do many horrible things. As she meets Prince Po, who is gifted with combative skills which to a point rival Katsa's own, to Katsa's surprise they become friends and allies. As the story progresses Katsa stumbles on a horrible truth which threatens everything in the world in which they live. This book held many great qualities. Each character was different in their own way and each had something great to offer to the story. The romance between the two characters jumps at you, making you feel what they feel, frustration, glee, woe, and the fervor that their heartwarming relationship brings about. At the same time the fighting and fierceness of each character pulls you along, making you feel their same determination, hope and strength that they foster. The turn of events that the book takes grabs your heart and stays with you, wishing that there was another based on the same characters to follow, sadly this is not the case. However still a great novel!
Date published: 2011-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was a pretty good book. This was a pretty good book. The Majority of the book is travelling in the forest. Pretty much 90% of it is. I could picture the entire story as I read. Good outcome of events. I have never read a book like this and I really enjoyed it. The special abilities because of the change of the colour of their eyes was cool. The love in this book was very heartwarming. Loved it!!! I will definitely buy the second book.
Date published: 2010-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great female heroine! Katsa is Graced with a special ability to kill. As a result, she’s used as a weapon by her King, a role that she does not want or enjoy. Eventually Katsa decides she will no longer be a pawn in a battle she doesn’t agree with, and begins to disobey the King’s orders. Then, on an unsanctioned mission she discovers a mysterious stranger in the night, and worries that by leaving him alive, she’s left herself in danger. But when this stranger shows up in her life again, they embark on a perilous mission in an effort to stop the greatest evil the 7 kingdoms have seen yet. Filled with interesting and original characters, and based on a very unique concept, Graceling is the first book in what looks to be an exciting fantasy series. Katsa is a strong heroine who struggles with her anger, but learns over the course of the novel to not let it form her decisions. She’s also strong in the literal sense. Her Grace allows her to kick some major butt, yet she always tries to avoid harming others unjustly. Romance takes a back seat to plot, which is a refreshing change in the YA fantasy genre. There’s definitely some romance in Graceling, but none of the typical teen angst and endless swooning. One of the things I loved most about Graceling is that it was never predictable. Each time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, something completely different occurred. And while the story felt complete at the end of this novel, the author has set up the next volume beautifully – I’m not upset because I was left with a cliffhanger, and yet I can’t wait to read more. I absolutely loved Graceling! The story sucked me right in, and I want to spend more time with all these characters. I’m very much looking forward to reading Fire, the next installment in the series.
Date published: 2010-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling by Kristin Cashore Blog for Book Reviews
Date published: 2010-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read I must say, It wasnt a book that I was hooked right from the beggining. The first few chapters had me wondering if I really wanted to continue reading it.. but once I hit chapter three or so it was a wonderful book. A bit too dragged out in some places, and the ending wasnt as dramatic as i'd hoped, but it was all together a worth wild read. I loved Prince Poe, though his name did give me a good laugh, and all the other characters were great too!
Date published: 2010-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning A remarkable story of truth, discovery and courage. It is -so- good to see a book out there not about vampires and werewolves (boring!). I recommend it highly to book lovers. The adventures and detail to Graceling are worth reading.
Date published: 2010-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best read of a long time! This book was fantastic. I couldn't put it down. Something completely different from the usual young adult books. Definitely a must read!
Date published: 2010-06-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but not great I bought this book because of the amazing reviews that it got. I was by no means amazed by it. It was good but I wold not put it up there with the greats by any means. The story was original, but the end just killed it for me. I was expecting more. I personally would not buy Fire (her next installment) unless I was desperat to read something.
Date published: 2010-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another Good YA Read While there are some definite similarities (at least between the main characters) to the Hunger Games series, I enjoyed Graceling. It was a different story, with some very original ideas and my favourite: a strong female hero. Full of action and lovable characters, it was hard to put down! Recommend for YA fans!
Date published: 2010-04-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Graceling In "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore, to be gifted or talented in some extreme way is to mark you with a grace. People who have a grace whether it be reading others thoughts, having the skill to manipulate people or being able fight or see things in your mind, are marked with having the grace by having different coloured eyes. Katsa's grace is the ability to kill people with little effort and she is under the service of King Randa who uses her grace against those who displease him. Katsa wants freedom and she has to fight and kill to achieve that liberty. Katsa meets Po who is also graced, but in a different way, he is able to sense his surroundings and is one of the few people who can fight with Katsa and give her a slight challenge. Po and Katsa are from different kingdoms, but they soon bond and become lovers. Katsa and Po have to save the seven kingdoms from a king who possesses a horrible grace that manipulates people into believing he is benevolent when actually he is wicked and tortures people and creatures. I found the beginning of this book a bit slow, but the last half is intriguing and makes up for the slowness at the beginning. Katsa is a strong female character and she grows from a girl who is in the servitude of her Uncle and has to kill the people he requests her to kill to a young women who is independent and is teaching other women to fight and defend themselves. She grows from servitude to independence and she also has a soft side and learns to love. Po is a caring and loving companion who accepts Katsa for who she is and wants her to grow and become the best she can. This book portrays their relationship in a sound and caring matter, they respect each other and they both grow in their relationship. I did find the anti-marriage and anti-children view of Katsa’s disturbing. Her and Po have a physical relationship and are committed to each other, but heaven forbid Katsa actually marry him. I do not get it, if she is so opposed to marriage, why not be opposed to any relationship in or out of wedlock? To me this view of marriage is a weak point in the book. The exploration of Katsa’s feelings of all the killings her Uncle had her commit and how that affected her psychologically would have been interesting if it was explored in the book. Bitterblue who is the daughter of the wicked king has a strong role in the second halve of the book and she seems a bit unrealistic for a girl her age, a girl with wisdom beyond her years. Overall I enjoyed reading this book and I will definitely check out Kristin Cashore’s other books.
Date published: 2010-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Graceling Kristin Cashore's novel, "Graceling", was a book I bought only hours after first hearing about it; an action I am very glad I took. Set in an imaginary world where certain individuals have special talents, ranging from climbing trees to sword fighting, the story was immensely intersting from beginning to end. I found Katsa, the main character, to be extremely likeable and the relationships she has and develops with others fun to witness. The plot itself was smoothly written, focusing on details when important and fast forwarding when not. Cashore's portrayal of the characters' reactions to situations in the book were never unbelievable, and the world it is all set in felt like it could actually exist. Overall, "Graceling" was an awesome book and I will be buying the second one very soon.
Date published: 2010-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read I picked up Graceling while I was shopping for someone else and thought that this sounded like something I could really be into. Graceling follows the story of a young woman, Katsa who is blessed, or cursed, depending on your perspective, with the grace for killing. She is capable and a great female heroine. I really enjoyed the environment created for the characters in this story, the creative idea of graces and the unexpected and ruthless antagonist. The only reason this book gets four stars and not five is due to my disappointment in the romance. The main male and female characters seem obviously bound to wind up in a relationship from their first encounter. However, the reason for their budding romance is never explained beyond physical attraction, and to me; that's really not enough. I found myself disappointed with the ultimate outcome of the characters relationship in the end as Katsa refuses to commit emotionally to Po even after everything they'd been through. It was as if she hadn't PROGRESSED. That being said, I will still check out the sequel to this book even though it promises an all new batch of characters, and hope for a trilogy that continues the story of Katsa and Po.
Date published: 2010-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gracefully Done I picked this book up based on pure impulsiveness. I had read the summary and everything about it piqued my interest; fantasy, romance and one tough little chick. What was there not to like? And liked it, I did. Katsa was a very interesting character to read about and I loved the creative idea about Graces and the amazing world Cashore creates. A lot of the characters were extremely lovable and when it came to the villian, Cashore created a good one, especially since it was unexpected. It was all heroic and yet, flawed which is exactly why I loved the adventure in this book. I liked how, even though it was a fantasy, the characters were not invincible. This seems to often happen in many fantasy novels. So why did it get three stars only? Well...the romance sucked, to be blunt. Not enough development and I found myself skipping the romance. I do not often do this unless I'm annoyed. It took me a while to get through the book because it moved so slow and got nowhere. Even though about half the book is about Po and Katsa's developing relationship, I still felt like there was no true basis to it. It wasn't only the romance but I felt that not a lot was happening through most of the book. The climax was elongated and, again, I found myself skipping pages just to get to the good stuff. On the plus side, I did fall in love with Bitterblue's character and will read the rest of the series if only to read her book. Overall, it was still a good read and I recommend it to all young fantasy lovers.
Date published: 2010-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well Written I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought it had a good story line, even though the climax of it all was very short lived. The characters and the idea of Gracelings was a neat idea for this. I really couldn't put this book down. I look forward to reading "Fire," the companion to "Graceling."
Date published: 2009-12-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poorly excuted This book is swimming with potential but I am sad to say doesn't live up to expectations. The author isn't able to end a chapter very well in the sense that I do not really feel the barn burning desire to read the next one. It is easy to put down and not think about. The climax comes with 70 pages left in the book but then quickly (and I mean half way through the next chapter) comes to an abrupt conclusion; thus leaving 50 pages of the author prattling on about things that could and should have been left for perhaps a sequel. This book was pretty boring overall and didn't have as much character development as one likes to see in these types of books. Sometimes it is very focused on the details but never the details you care about. Not worth your money.
Date published: 2009-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Gifted Grace... When I saw one of my friends reading this book, I searched it up and saw how many people enjoyed it, so I decided to give it try...Which is one of the best choices I have made about a book! Honestly, this is my first time reading a book which has to do with castles and princesses and olden time romance. I did read half of Nobody's Princess, but it had no romance in it, and was very dull. Graceling has so much adventure and romance put all together in one book. And I love the idea for the Graced people to have one diffrent eye color than the other. I love the charcters, especially Po and Katsa I think they make a beautiful couple. This book has that type of romance that makes your heart warm up and also makes you smile. In conclusion this book was just beautiful! Definetly recommend it!
Date published: 2009-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting, original fantasy One of the best young-adult fantasy novels I've read in years. The story shines, the characters develop beautifully, and Cashore's writing effortlessly falls away. Katsa, Po, and Bitterblue will hold a special place in my imagination for a long time.
Date published: 2009-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! In Graceling we meet Katsa, a Graceling who is forced to do her kings dirty work. In the beginning of the novel she is without humanity and it takes meeting Po to have her realize her potential in life and realize that she has many choices that she can make. Mix all of this in with adventure, action romance and you have a book that you will read well into the night. I couldn't put it down and I'm sure you will not be disappointed either!
Date published: 2009-10-22

Read from the Book

CHAPTER ONEIN THESE DUNGEONS the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind. One that had so far proven correct, as Oll’s maps tended to do. Katsa ran her hand along the cold walls and counted doors and passageways as she went. Turning when it was time to turn; stopping finally before an opening that should contain a stairway leading down. She crouched and felt forward with her hands. There was a stone step, damp and slippery with moss, and another one below it. This was Oll’s staircase, then. She only hoped that when he and Giddon followed her with their torches, they would see the moss slime, tread carefully, and not waken the dead by clattering headlong down the steps.Katsa slunk down the stairway. One left turn and two right turns. She began to hear voices as she entered a corridor where the darkness flickered orange with the light of a torch set in the wall. Across from the torch was another corridor where, according to Oll, anywhere from two to ten guards should be standing watch before a certain cell at the passageway’s end.These guards were Katsa’s mission. It was for them that she had been sent first.Katsa crept toward the light and the sound of laughter. She could stop and listen, to get a better sense of how many she would face, but there was no time. She pulled her hood down low and swung around the corner.She almost tripped over her first four victims, who were sitting on the floor across from each other, their backs against the wall, legs splayed, the air stinking with whatever strong drink they’d brought down here to pass the time of their watch. Katsa kicked and struck at temples and necks, and the four men lay slumped together on the floor before amazement had even registered in their eyes.There was only one more guard, sitting before the cell bars at the end of the corridor. He scrambled to his feet and slid his sword from its sheath. Katsa walked toward him, certain that the torch at her back hid her face, and particularly her eyes, from his sight. She measured his size, the way he moved, the steadiness of the arm that held the sword toward her."Stop there. It’s clear enough what you are." His voice was even. He was brave, this one. He cut the air with his sword, in warning. "You don’t frighten me."He lunged toward her. She ducked under his blade and whirled her foot out, clipping his temple. He dropped to the ground.She stepped over him and ran to the bars, squinting into the darkness of the cell. A shape huddled against the back wall, a person too tired or too cold to care about the fighting going on. Arms wrapped around legs, and head tucked between knees. He was shivering—she could hear his breath. She shifted, and the light glanced over his crouched form. His hair was white and cut close to his head. She saw the glimmer of gold in his ear. Oll’s maps had served them well, for this man was a Lienid. He was the one they were looking for.She pulled on the door latch. Locked. Well, that was no surprise, and it wasn’t her problem. She whistled once, low, like an owl. She stretched the brave guard flat on his back and dropped one of her pills into his mouth. She ran up the corridor, turned the four unfortunates on their backs beside each other, and dropped a pill into each mouth. Just as she was beginning to wonder if Oll and Giddon had lost themselves in the dungeons, they appeared around the corner and slipped past her."A quarter hour, no more," she said."A quarter hour, My Lady." Oll’s voice was a rumble. "Go safely."Their torchlight splashed the walls as they approached the cell. The Lienid man moaned and drew his arms in closer. Katsa caught a glimpse of his torn, stained clothing. She heard Giddon’s ring of lock picks clink against itself. She would have liked to have waited to see that they opened the door, but she was needed elsewhere. She tucked her packet of pills into her sleeve and ran.THE CELL GUARDS reported to the dungeon guard, and the dungeon guard reported to the underguard. The underguard reported to the castle guard. The night guard, the king’s guard, the wall guard, and the garden guard also reported to the castle guard. As soon as one guard noticed another’s absence, the alarm would be raised, and if Katsa and her men weren’t far enough away, all would be lost. They would be pursued, it would come to bloodshed; they would see her eyes, and she would be recognized. So she had to get them all, every guard. Oll had guessed there would be twenty. Prince Raffin had made her thirty pills, just in case.Most of the guards gave her no trouble. If she could sneak up on them, or if they were crowded in small groups, they never knew what hit them. The castle guard was a bit more complicated, because five guards defended his office. She swirled through the lot of them, kicking and kneeing and hitting, and the castle guard jumped up from his guardhouse desk, burst through the door, and ran into the fray."I know a Graceling when I see one." He jabbed with his sword, and she rolled out of the way. "Let me see the colors of your eyes, boy. I’ll cut them out. Don’t think I won’t."It gave her some pleasure to knock him on the head with the hilt of her knife. She grabbed his hair, dragged him onto his back, and dropped a pill onto his tongue. They would all say, when they woke to their headaches and their shame, that the culprit had been a Graceling boy, Graced with fighting, acting alone. They would assume she was a boy, because in her plain trousers and hood she looked like one, and because when people were attacked it never occurred to anyone that it might have been a girl. And none of them had caught a glimpse of Oll or Giddon: She had seen to that.No one would think of her. Whatever the Graceling Lady Katsa might be, she was not a criminal who lurked around dark courtyards at midnight, disguised. And besides, she was supposed to be en route east. Her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, had seen her off just that morning, the whole city watching, with Captain Oll and Giddon, Randa’s underlord, escorting her. Only a day of very hard riding in the wrong direction could have brought her south to King Murgon’s court.Katsa ran through the courtyard, past flower beds, fountains, and marble statues of Murgon. It was quite a pleasant courtyard, really, for such an unpleasant king; it smelled of grass and rich soil, and the sweetness of dew-dripped flowers. She raced through Murgon’s apple orchard, a trail of drugged guards stretching out behind her. Drugged, not dead: an important distinction. Oll and Giddon, and most of the rest of the secret Council, had wanted her to kill them. But at the meeting to plan this mission, she’d argued that killing them would gain no time."What if they wake?" Giddon had said.Prince Raffin had been offended. "You doubt my medicine. They won’t wake.""It would be faster to kill them," Giddon had said, his brown eyes insistent. Heads in the dark room had nodded."I can do it in the time allotted," Katsa had said, and when Giddon had started to protest, she’d held up her hand. "Enough. I won’t kill them. If you want them killed, you can send someone else."Oll had smiled and clapped the young lord on the back. "Just think, Lord Giddon, it’ll make it more fun for us. The perfect robbery, past all of Murgon’s guards, and nobody hurt? It’s a good game."The room had erupted with laughter, but Katsa hadn’t even cracked a smile. She wouldn’t kill, not if she didn’t have to. A killing couldn’t be undone, and she’d killed enough. Mostly for her uncle. King Randa thought her useful. When border ruffians were stirring up trouble, why send an army if you could send a single representative? It was much more economical. But she’d killed for the Council, too, when it couldn’t be avoided. This time it could be avoided.At the far end of the orchard she came upon a guard who was old, as old, perhaps, as the Lienid. He stood in a grove of yearling trees, leaning on his sword, his back round and bent. She snuck up behind him and paused. A tremor shook the hands that rested on the hilt of his blade.She didn’t think much of a king who didn’t retire his guards in comfort when they’d gotten too old to hold a sword steady.But if she left him, he would find the others she’d felled and raise the alarm. She struck him once, hard, on the back of the head, and he slumped and let out a puff of air. She caught him and lowered him to the ground, as gently as she could, and then dropped a pill into his mouth. She took a moment to run her fingers along the lump forming on his skull. She hoped his head was strong.She had killed once by accident, a memory she held close to her consciousness. It was how her Grace had announced its nature, a decade ago. She’d been a child, barely eight years old. A man who was some sort of distant cousin had visited the court. She hadn’t liked him—his heavy perfume, the way he leered at the girls who served him, the way his leer followed them around the room, the way he touched them when he thought no one was watching. When he’d started to pay Katsa some attention, she had grown wary. "Such a pretty little one," he’d said. "Graceling eyes can be so very unattractive. But you, lucky girl, look better for it. What is your Grace, my sweetness? Storytelling? Mind reading? I know. You’re a dancer."Katsa hadn’t known what her Grace was. Some Graces took longer than others to surface. But even if she had known, she wouldn’t have cared to discuss it with this cousin. She’d scowled at the man and turned away. But then his hand had slid toward her leg, and her hand had flown out and smashed him in the face. So hard and so fast that she’d pushed the bones of his nose into his brain.Ladies in the court had screamed; one had fainted. When they’d lifted him from the pool of blood on the floor and he’d turned out to be dead, the court had grown silent, backed away. Frightened eyes—not just those of the ladies now, but those of the soldiers, the sworded underlords—all directed at her. It was fine to eat the meals of the king’s chef, who was Graced with cooking, or send their horses to the king’s Graced horse doctor. But a girl Graced with killing? This one was not safe.Copyright © 2008 by Kristin CashoreAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Editorial Reviews

"Cashore strikes a strong balance between adventure, drama and romance--bloody battles and sexual tension co-exist in equal measure--and Katsa's combination of pride in her unique talents and vulnerability in her self-doubts make her a strongly sympathetic character. Readers will identify closely with this young woman, whose coming of age also involves coming to terms with a talent that is both a blessing and a curse."--BookPage, November 2008