Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Summary:Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

Review: Graceling was a great read. In the beginning, this book is one of those books you say you'll read and then you forget about them. But when you do get to read the book, you curse yourself for not reading it earlier.

Well, I thought I had put this book on hold long enough. So today, I finished Graceling. And I was blown away at how amazing it was.

The plot was wonderful and well written. New problems rose in the beginning as well as some conflicts and some questions. But all were answered in the end. It moves in a nice sync with the rest of the book and doesn't leave you wondering what is going on, rather what is going to happen. The dialogue fits in well with the book.

The characters are so amazing and well formed. Katsa is a strong, independent (some what) girl who makes it clear that she doesn't need a man to save her. Who wouldn't love a girl like that? Throughout the book she struggles with her Grace but learns things about it that she never knew before. She also learns things about herself that she didn't know was there before.

Po. Well, the first time I read about him, I was like "Po? SERIOUSLY? He's supposed to be like a hero or something?" And then another thought occurred to me. Po, from Teletubbies. Isn't he the red one? I would not think a man named Po would be hot or sexy or even I don't know, the type of guy I see with a girl like Kasta. But boy was I wrong. Po proved that he was (is?) sexy and hot and defiantly the guy for Katsa. He's a fellow Graced like Katsa and for once in her life, Katsa finds a match.

The chemisty (romance) between Po and Katsa was great. It was the typical friends-then closer friends-then attraction-and finally love. But it was different because they were (1)in the wilderness (2) they were camping (3) they were trying to carry out a mission. The flirty, playfullness, and love scenes between the two were written very well. There were times when you just had to say "AWWWW" or "Oh, come on, he loves you!"

Bitterblue. She is obviously what the third book is named after and I think it suits her fine. She's a really strong girl of someone her age. Bitterblue was a character I liked reading about but there were moments when I went "This is a ten-year-old?" Mainly because of how she spoke. So clear and firm and straight to the point. Even though this is kind of iffy, it gives you a clear point of how her life has been. I also liked how she was able to get Katsa to really like her. Katsa goes from finding Bitterblue as someone she has to take care of because it's her duty to someone she wants to care for.

Other parts of this book could have been (1) written better (2) taken out or (3) shortened. Some of the scenes would take forever to finish, like when Katsa and Bitterblue were in the mountains. I was bored out of my wits, honestly. Then out of no where I'd realize there's a problem and as soon as I realize this, the problem is solved and the book has moved on. I'd also have loved some back story. A little more about Po and his family and the Counsil. That was one thing I was wondering about so much. How did they come out (more details) and stuff like that.

All in all, this was a great book.

Grade: Go to fullsize image I loved it! I.Have.Said.Enough.You.Get.The.Point.

Cover: A+, it's original, it pretty and it goes well with the story and premise of the book.

Overall: A great book. It's one that will suck you in from the very beginning and will hold your attention (well, not a tight hold) till the end. And even after you've closed the book, you'll wonder what happens next. For all those fantasy lovers out there. If you're looking for a good book worth your time, then get this book too!


  1. I just reviewed this one earlier tonight! LOL
    I totally agree with your review, spot on. :)

  2. Awesome review darling! I have this book sitting on my shelf, just haven't gotten around to it. Your enthusiastic review makes me wanna read it right now! :)


  3. Graceling was a great read! Happy you enjoyed it as well :)

  4. I loved this one too! I agree that parts could have been shortened or cut out. Some places just dragged. Great review!

  5. Great review! I ADORE Kristin Cashore. She is so amazing. The only problem with this book for me was Po's attitude at the end. He was so broken it felt wierd.