Book Review: Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page.

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page.

favoriteTitle: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: September 3, 2009
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN13: 9780575085305
Format: Paperback
Series: Graceling Realm
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.
Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa’s life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid’s father is kidnapped she investigates, and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own?
The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out – but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king…

Words cannot express how much I love this book. I was momentarily left speechless at the end of the book.


The Commencement: I’ve heard a lot about Graceling, but I only read it now and I really loved it. It was simply amazing. I’ve been holding onto my copy for weeks or months now because I didn’t have a copy of Bitterblue yet. I find it hard to wait for books of a series so I like completing them first. Well, I still don’t have Bitterblue because my local bookstore does not have a copy of the cover I want. However, I was running out of books I haven’t read yet (although I just stocked up recently) so I decided to just read it and figure out how to read Bitterblue some other time. And wow, was I in for a big surprise.

The CoverThe Graceling Realm series has two kinds of covers for the english versions, as far as I know anyway. The first one was not so eye-catching to me so I never really bothered with it. What can I say, I like pretty things. But then I saw this cover at the bookstore, and I simply HAD to have it. It is just gorgeous! I bought this along with the second book of the series. It would have been nicer though if they showcased her supposedly really beautiful eyes, but that’s just me. I still love this cover either way.

The Composition: It was simply riveting. I think that this book was gracefully written. (pardon the pun) The humor and dialogue really worked for me. The synopsis does not even begin to describe how good this book is. I would not have let go of this book if I didn’t need to do other things to the point that it got me distracted from some of my responsibilities. The story was set in a place with seven kingdoms where a selected few were gifted with abilities. Each kingdom reacted differently towards the Graced, and I think it shows a lot about how people have their own perceptions. The storyline just kept me holding on. I had to keep on knowing what happens next and what happens to the other characters. There were a lot of twists and turns in the story that I did not expect to happen. Most of all, the ending was quite satisfying. It doesn’t feel like there are other books to the story though, but I liked it anyway. This is one amazing debut novel.

The Characters:

In Graceling, we have another strong female protagonist. Katsa, the main character, is feared by many because of her Grace, but she soon figures out that there is more to her gifts, and that she can use it to help others. She struggles with finding herself, but becomes more than anyone could expect her to be. Despite being strong and brave, we still find a loving and playful character that will truly engage you.

And then we have Greening Grandemalion, aka Po. I really cannot get over how silly his name is. When he revealed his nickname, I had to pause for a minute to just laugh. But there is so much more to him than his name. Because he is Graced, he is able to understand and support Katsa better. He is a great prince and loved by many. Oh, and he’s pretty and he knows it.

One of my favorite side-characters is the sweet, smart and caring cousin, Raffin, who is funny, too. I also liked Helda, the handmaid, who took care of Katsa like a mother/sister/girlfriend, although she didn’t really show much in the book. I think that most, if not all, of the characters enhanced the story, conflicts, and emotions. I easily connected with the characters. It also helped a lot that they were all amusing.

The Couple: Katsa and Po are such an ADORABLE pairing. I like how their relationship progressed along the way, figuring each other out and understanding each other. I loved their own personal moments. I don’t really want to say more about this so that you can fall in love with it for yourself. Well, I did anyway.

The Charm: I personally think that everything about this book was simply wonderful – from the intriguing beginning to the (i-do-not-have-enough-words-to-describe) development until the much-awaited ending. All the elements in play just worked for me. My favorite part is in Chapter 17, the 2nd part (for my copy it’s page 147). I won’t really tell you what happens, but I just loved it! Highly entertaining.


The Conclusion: If you want to laugh, cry, and fall in love, then this is the perfect book for you. It even has a lot of action to boot. Set in a new world of fantasy, with a whole cast of interesting characters, Graceling is a force to be reckoned with. I LOVE this book!




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own any of the images I use, but some may be subject to editing.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

  1. Pingback: Books to Read After You Finish The Hunger Games Trilogy | Chronically Bored

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  3. Pingback: Wishlist Wednesday | The Day Dreamer and Candy EaterThe Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

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