[Review #46] Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Series: Graceling Realm
Book one
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: 1st October, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt
Genre: High Fantasy
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]


His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn’t shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn’t seem human….

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill – called a Grace – are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even shedespises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graces 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.


I have to say that when I decided to read this book it was only because I read a great review of it from a blog that I love. Then when I came back to it it sounded pretty interesting yet I still didn’t quite expect this book.

The many reasons I loved this book!

The idea:
The whole idea of the ‘Graced’ was just pretty cool. Someone who has been ‘graced’ is someone that has some sort of special ability therefore the King they serve gets to choose whether he would like them to serve him and his lands or not. That was an interesting take on it, I like that this book wasn’t just about being ‘graced’. The abilities are all different and vary from graced to graced yet a graced person has two different coloured eyes so they are easily distinguishable.

It was interesting and the way this was done was exciting. The world that Cashore has created is exciting and thrilling. I was nose-in-book the whole time!

The kick ass main character:
I LOVED that Katsa was so strong, that she could fight and defend herself. It’s refreshing getting to read a female protagonist that doesn’t need anyone to protect her because she’s perfectly capable of doing it herself. I found Katsa fun to read because of her logic, because of the way she thought and because even though she was strong she wasn’t without flaws.

Katsa was brought up as a fighter and a killer thanks to her Uncle, whom is the king of Randa. That’s all she has known most of her life pretty much. Everyone has feared her since her grace of fighting was made known and no one is able to look in her eyes for very long because of that fear. So Katsa has steeled herself away from others, believing she is the killer everyone see’s her as. Yet she is a very interesting character that grows and matures throughout the book. Reading Katsa was a lot of fun.

It kept me guessing till the end:
I found myself trying to figure out what was going on, but every guess I had turned out to be wrong as more information was given. I loved it! I loved that it kept me guessing and that by the end I was still surprised. 

The pacing is well done:
One thing I hate in books is slow pacing, the very short amount of time that it is written in – For example: In one week the MC falls completely in love after having said two words to the guy and nearly dies three times. When this happens it’s very annoying and unrealistic in my opinion. And the fact that not a lot is going on till the last quarter. Well this book is the complete opposite from that.

  • The pacing is great, there aren’t any really slow moments, there’s always something happening that it kept me interested. There were a few times that were slower than others but it didn’t make me put the book down.
  • The time span of the whole book is actually over a long period of time, quite few months? I’m not sure as it never states it, but it’s refreshing to read a story that takes place and develops over time and you never get bored in the process.
  • The pacing of the events is good because it’s happening the whole way through. One after the other. The plot build up is exciting and it actually progresses from one ‘event’ to the next, it doesn’t just stand still till the last quarter where everything blows up and happens all at once.

I really did enjoy reading this book but Graceling does feel like two books. The first half is admittedly not as exciting or action packed as the second half but I was still very interested in what was going on. There was a hook that stopped me from wanting to put it down. I had the feeling of needing to know what happened next. And that’s a great thing. 

The second half was packed with action and events that made my stomach twist in anxiety. By the end of the second half the first half of the book felt like it had been a year since I had read it because it felt like so much time had passed in between the very beginning of the first half and the end of the second. In my opinion that was thrilling.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I was taken on an exciting journey and that’s something that I don’t feel very often. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. I do know it’s quite different but the whole world that Graceling is set in is so interesting and has so much potential that I really want to read more stories that are set in it.

Graceling had me furiously turning page after page until I could no longer hold my eyes open to stay awake. I was thrown into the world and thoroughly enjoyed reading Katsa’s journey.

I recommend reading this book if you enjoy fantasy! It’s a must read!

If you liked books like The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Baker’s Boy by J.V Jones, Grave Mercy or pretty much any fantasy adventure then you will definitely love this!

Miss J


9 thoughts on “[Review #46] Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  1. Awesome review, Jordon! I really must get my hands on THE GRACELING soon; nearly all of the reviews I’ve read of it so far have been just raving about it, so it’s nice to hear that you enjoyed it, too. :) Katsa sounds like an amazing MC.

    THE GRACELING, here I come!

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