Thursday, February 27, 2014

Highlights / Lowlights: GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: October 2008
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 471
POV: 3rd person
Publisher: Harcourt
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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 Graced 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.

Highlights: This is one of those books I read when it first released, and I thought it was only an "okay" type of novel. After reading (and loving) Fire and Bitterblue years later, I decided I needed to give Graceling a second chance...and I loved it. I don't know if it's because I'm older and this story resonates with me more deeply now than it did when I was a teenager, but this book is incredible. Cashore writes vividly, so you feel as if you've stumbled into another strange yet fascinating world. Her vision of this specific setting is clear, and even more so when it comes to the lively, vibrant characters who live in it. Kasta is an excellent, strong protagonist who is different from most other YA heroines. If you're looking for a fantasy novel packed with action, excitement, and convincing characters, then Graceling is the book for you. 

Lowlights: It took a little time to get into the writing style. I think it's easier to appreciate this book when rereading, rather than reading for the first time.

Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf. love this book, so it is going on the top shelves in the royal library where everyone can see it. I'd highly recommend GRACELING, because it is an incredible story.

My reviews of other works by this author: 
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) 


  1. Yesss! Graceling is an awesome novel. I have no idea why I haven't continued with the series. I definitely need to. I remember when I read it a few years ago, I was so impressed with Cashore's writing. I'm glad you reread this book and enjoyed it! It's always interesting how that works out and things change as we age. Great review, Lea!

    1. You absolutely NEED to catch up with the other novels. FIRE and BITTERBLUE are both great, in different ways.

      It is fascinating to see how differently we react to things as we age - especially when it changes into a more positive direction :)

  2. Oh, definitely a top shelf book! I love this whole series but I think this is my favorite of it.

    1. Very top-shelf worthy. Cashore's books are fabulous! I think FIRE might be my favorite, but I'd have to reread them all to be sure ;)

  3. Glad you loved this on a re-read. Books have the tendency to be able to do that. It's awful when it goes the other way though! I really enjoyed this book and should really get to reading the other two soon, especially if you originally liked them better.

    1. Ooh, yes. I hate it when goes the other way - that's always disappointing. But, I was really glad that I ended up loving this one when I reread it.

      You must check out FIRE and BITTERBLUE! They are both fantastic.

  4. Graceling is my favorite book of all time. <3 I'm SO happy that you love it too :D

    1. Fabulous story, right? I'm so glad you're a fan of it too :D

  5. So many people love this book but I'm not really a fantasy reader. I used to love it when I was younger but it seems I've grown out of it =( That's interesting that you didn't like it the first time but loved it the second time. I hardly ever re-read books, even if I loved them the 1st time around.

  6. I've put off reading this for so long, first I just wasn't interested but all the reviews convinced me. I'll see how I go with the writing style, but it sounds like you enjoyed it more this time :)

  7. I'm always interested in books that seem to improve on a reread. I should really stop putting off this series!