Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace - or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone...

I really enjoyed Graceling by Kristin Cashore because it was a fun exciting novel that, while it was relatively long, had enough action and suspense to keep me reading and to want to find out the ending quickly. I believe in Australia Graceling is marketed as an adult book but is young adult overseas? I will have to confirm that but it definitely read as a young adult book in its simplicity and lack of an ultra-complicated storyline which I often find myself bogged down in with this type of fantasy-adventure genre adult novel but at the same time could definitely appeal to adult readers – the book is big!

There was actually quite a lot of violence in this book though I wasn’t really aware of it until after I’d finished and read the backcover where there was a mention of ‘graphic violence’ or something similar. As a fan of pretty violent cinema I might just be desensitised but the content of this book didn’t really strike me as overly violent, at least not to any extent where I would warn readers to be cautious (age dependent of course).

The medieval world were the story was set definitely intrigued me, along with the concept of people born with certain talents or ‘graces’. The two main characters, Katsa graced with killing, and Po graced with the ability to see things with his mind were very interesting and it’s very enjoyable to watch their talents develop. However, I do have the criticism that often there was a lot too much conversation going on with (often for chapters at a time) very little action to move the story along.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Graceling to anyone who’s looking for a fun, epic and adventurous journeys across fantastical lands with graced heroes leading the way.


  1. I just got this one in audio -- your review has made me move it a bit higher up in my TBR

  2. It is marketed as an adult book over here in England. I nearly picked it up today. I am on a bit of a book ban, so it will have to wait. Lovely to see you back.

  3. I can't wait to read this. I picked up a copy but I love the cover of your copy more than the one I got!

  4. Great review! I usually prefer urban fantasy rather than straight fantasy but I loved this book. A great adventure! And your cover is definitely better than mine!

  5. I just found ur blog! I'm a follower now!

  6. new cover! It looks amazing, I hope I get to read it A.S.A.P

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  7. aahhh i wanted this book soo bad, but the book shop didnt have it when i went on the weekend. I got Fire though...

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  8. Sounds like a great book. It is amazing how much violence they can get into a book before you even really notice. I guess our minds play it down a bit as far as visuals (either that or we are all just desensitised from watching too many movies). Thanks for sharing this review.

  9. Oh I haven't seen this book around at any Aussie book stores near me.. only Fire. I'll have to track it down online I guess!

  10. I've seen this book in the stores and have thought: ...hmm...should I read it? Perhaps I should.

    Thanks for the review, Lisa

  11. I really enjoyed this book up until half way through when it went downhill for me. I feel bad becuase I wanted to like it soo much more. Great review, though!

  12. I love this book. One of my favorites. Great review!

  13. Hi just found your blog and a review of the sort of book I like. I'll be subscribing.

    I totally agree that sometimes adult fantasy books get bogged down in convoluted story lines. I'll look out for this one.

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