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Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
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Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  206,101 ratings  ·  14,476 reviews
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.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no...more
Hardcover, 471 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Harcourt
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Miss Clark
Oct 29, 2009 Miss Clark rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mature Readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat Kennedy
Graceling by Kristin Cashore follows in a burgeoning market for strong female characters.

Katsa is much like Katniss from The Hunger Games in her naive perception of the world, her coldness and tendency towards pragmatic practicality. She is similar to Xhex from the Black Dagger Brotherhood in her disgust of all things "feminine".

The story is well written, with engaging, fun characters. Katsa is fun to read about. The plot may be a little predictable at times but it did throw me a curve ball tow...more
karen

it is so hard to write reviews for books i actually like. no, love.

talking about this book is like trying to describe to someone a relationship from long ago that was bittersweet and is now over, but i have never had a relationship that involved so many horses and swordplay, not even metaphorically. and fewer people care about my love life than about this book.

(i see you ariel - you are glowering at me with tiny slitted eyes)

but this book is like a wonderfully sweet relationship. at the beginni...more
Krystle
Graceling has a beautiful cover, great premise, and lots of hype, and would be a terrific novel if it weren’t for the terrible writing and atrocious main character.

What is with the awkward sentence structures and prose in this book? "In these dungeons the darkess was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind." It should be "In these dungeons, the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind." And look at the next sentence: "One that had so far proven to be correct, as Oll's maps tende...more
Penny
Updated 04/01/14:

I happen to like books which feature kick-ass feminist heroines and are light on the romance so I should like this book, right?

Yeah, but I don't.

First of all, Katsa acts like a petulant little girl throughout the entire book, not some strong feminist poster woman. Katsa shows very little, if any, personal growth over the course of this novel. Also, I felt like the author spent too much time trying to sell us on the following ideas: femininity is an idea forced upon women by t...more
Tatiana
Update 1/24/2012. I probably should already stop being surprised by the fact that every time I reread a book, I come up with something new to say (or feel) about it. Looks like my previous reading of Graceling caused a lengthy rant. Yeah, no such strong feelings this time.

This time, I was able to appreciate the writing more. It's lovely. I really love how it flows, how the sentences connect. This book stands the test of time. And it's great that it stirs so much discussion and, often, outrage....more
Emily May


First thing I need to point out is that I consider myself a feminist, even as far as to take an active role is such matters. Previously, I have written articles on Feministing and I honestly think so many of these issues are still very important in today's world. However you look at it, the battle for equality has not been won and has, in fact, become rather dormant.

On that note, I love reading fiction by feminist writers, Atwood never fails to deliver and The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favou...more
Sean
[This is a review of an advance copy.:]

While Cashore shows herself to be a promising writer in many respects, this book could have used a better editing job, especially with the pacing, the climax and the dénouement. Other points:

1. The dialogue she put in the ten-year-old princess's mouth was not believable in the slightest; maybe Cashore should spend some time around pre-adolescent girls to get an idea of what they really talk like.

2. The psychology of several of the characters (including Kats...more
Rhea
What I think about when I hear the name...

Po:
- Po the Panda
- Po from Telletubbies
- A crazy guy (like Edgar Allen Poe)
- Poo

Katsa:
- Ketchup
- Mutant Katniss

Ror:
- Roar! I'm a T-Rex!

Tealiff:
- Tea Leaf

Skye:
- Skype
- A modern name, which you will NOT find in a medieval place.

King Randa:
- Ranting + Panda. King Ranting Panda!

Drowden:
- Drowsy
- Drowning

Thigpen
- Pig pen
- Thinking pen

Leck
- Lick
- Peck
- Neck
- Smack
- Some other variation

Lienid:
- An insult. ("Hey, you Lienid!")

By the way, Po's real name is Green...more
Ryn
This was pretty much one of the most irritating books of all time - and consistent with my idea of YA fantasy. But I fought my way through it because, goshdarnit, I picked it up at the library, dragged it home with a load of other books and groceries, and renewed it the max number of times - I was gonna finish it.

You know the kickbutt heroine who is just totally kickbutt and doesn't need no one, no way, no how, and yet loves and feels and hurts deeply and yet keeps everyone away because she is b...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy Darling
Loved it. Except for the raging feminist agenda.
Kira
Let's get this done. My dinner is getting cold, and I have dreams to crush. Ready? Andiamo!

BOOM #1: Katsa

While I love the author's intent for empowerment with Katsa, she was a bit too much of a special snowflake for me. I will forever fist-pump to her unstoppable strength as a warrior, a woman and a person, but at the end of the day she was highly unrealistic and too much of a caricature for me.

She's kind of a double edged-sword in terms of her feminist appeal, too. Instead of helping the women...more
Vicki
Gah sooo good!

Okay, I read some of the other reviews and now I feel the need to defend this book. Basically, I think it's completely hilarious how many people are shocked and appalled that 1) there is sex in this book, and 2) the heroine does not desire to get married or have children. Guess what? Young adults *do* have sex. And the idea that it's not love if you don't want to marry them, or that you shouldn't have sex until you're married is why all the poor children in your congregation are ma...more
Sarah
Aug 17, 2014 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lit lovers
Recommended to Sarah by: Karin's Book Nook
Excerpt: “And now I’m wondering,” he said, “how it is you don’t realize your eyes ensnare me, just as mine do you. I can’t explain it, Katsa, but you shouldn’t let it embarrass you. For we’re both overtaken by the same—--foolishness.”

[image error]
That’s Katsa’s eyes. Kidding. But that quite explain the eyes of a Graceling, just imagine it 10 times fantabuluos.

A Graceling is a person with Graced. Being Graced is like having an exceptional talent. But it does not only refer to singing or dancing,...more
Candi
Hm. The hardest thing about this book is that it COULD HAVE BEEN SO GOOD. I started out loving everything about it and ready to recommend it to everyone. But then it started reading like a feminist/anti-marriage/anti-kids campaign platform (okay - that might be a little much, but you started to feel that the author had an agenda). It was just really disappointing, because I loved the characters so much. Oh well.
Also - even though it's considered a YA novel, there is sex in it. Pretty disappoint...more
Sparrow
Yay!!! This was just what I wanted. This was like a cone of shaved ice on a hot day by the pool listening to a mix of one hit wonders. Yay!! I feel like I didn’t realize it, but one of my goals for vacation was to stay up till three in the morning with a fun adventure, and this was just the thing. 3 a.m. read: check!

There is such a deluge of young, energetic girl writers, writing women who struggle with their stoicism and strength and have supportive, emotional male counterparts, and I absolutel...more
Beth
I came so very close to giving this one 5 stars. It was a great fantasy adventure with a strong female lead (perhaps too strong).
Katsa is a girl with extraordinary powers. When she meets Po, a young man with powers of his own, they strike up an unusual friendship and together set out to root out a growing evil.
This book had a great plot with some surprizing twists. It had great characters (I loved Po), and a slowly growing romance, but in the end I was expecting someting from Katsa that she just...more
Lora
Mar 06, 2011 Lora rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA fantasy
Recommended to Lora by: Nic
Born with an ability that is more of a curse than a gift, Katsa's life hasn't been an easy one. Katsa is Graced with the ability to kill. And when an accident causes her to kill a man at the age of eight, she soon realizes what her Grace really is.
Upon finding out Katsa's true Grace, King Randa of the Middluns, Katsa's uncle, quickly decides to utilize her morbid abilities rather than kill her for them as most would.
Wanting to harness her abilities and control them rather than be ruled by them a...more
Lucy
In the seven kingdoms, there are some children who are born different. They are marked with eyes of two different colors, and they are called Gracelings. Gracelings have abilities beyond the natural, and they are feared and shunned by most people. There are many different Graces—some are benign, like the Grace to swim long distances, or to juggle. And some are deadly.

Katsa, niece to King Randa of Middluns, has a killing Grace. Since she was a small child she has been able to kill a grown man eas...more
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
EDIT: THIS REVIEW IS IN NEED OF A REWRITE.

I bumped this up to 3 stars. There's really only 1 thing about this book I didnt like. Katsa's attitude and some of her decisions.
Second review:

Main idea: My goodreads buddy Isis says it best on her review, and I'll echo her sentiments that "being an angry bitch doesn't give someone a strong constitution or character."
Anne Osterlund
Sword fighting heroine, check. Magical powers, check. A real relationship worth investing in, check. A dastardly villain, a young woman who questions the use of her own power and makes a conscious decision to change, and a twist at the end.

All with a smooth flowing narrative that feels more like play than like work. Pure pleasure.
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Ambivalence: the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions (Dictionary.com). Thus ends my Graceling review.


Kidding! But it does sum it up nicely.

On the one hand, I found it a fast, engaging read that was hard to put down. As a favorite tale states, there is "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." Alright, maybe not...more
Cinda
I LOVED this book; fast-paced, strong heroine, engaging love interest, character delivered through action. Loved Katsa's voice. Can't wait for the sequel.
Heidi
I am so disappointed right now. I was absolutely LOVING this book and everything about it...then about 1/2 way through, the author lost me as a fan entirely. I felt like she went away from telling the story and decided to promote premarital sex and an anti-marriage theme instead. THIS BOOK IS SUPPOSE TO BE FOR YOUNG ADULTS???!!! The main characters decide to have NO standards/morals what-so-ever! UGH!! I was SOOOO mad!!!! I had a hard time enjoying the rest of the story because I was just so dis...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Felicia
First, this cover art is STUNNING. Second, er I dunno. I thought the conceit of this world was really interesting, but like most of the book I felt like it skimmed across the surface of things that could have been better explored. It read at a very young-adult level, which is ok, but a little surface-y for my tastes. I found myself over and over wanting a meatier delving into the character and what was happening in the world (which were some interesting characters and plotting.)

Annalisa
I started off thinking I would give this five stars (despite Cashore's lack of proper punctuation). In this high fantasy world, Katsa is a fiery girl graced with the art of killing and used by her uncle king to do his dirty business, but on the side she's a vigilante saving the people her uncle and the neighboring kings harm. What a great idea for a main character. The imagination of Cashore to create this world and give Katsa her perfect match and her perfect deadly villain is impressive. I was...more
Lisa
Three star books are often the most difficult to write reviews for because they're books that didn't completely work for me and yet I still enjoyed them overall. Graceling is one of those books. I'll start by saying that when it comes to high fantasy I tend to prefer political intrigue over adventure stories, and while Graceling is a mix of both it definitely leans more heavily on the latter. The long stretches of time spent traveling were a bit tedious for me. Those who love adventure fantasy s...more
Rachel Hartman
3.5 stars. I liked the concept, I liked the characters, but parts of this book bored me. The whole struggle to get back over the mountain pass went on far too long for my patience. I wasn't that startled by the "twist" (note scare quotes -- I'd been told there was an awesome twist, and I was expecting something mind-blowing, and it just wasn't there). And then I found myself skimming everything after that. If I'm skimming, that's not good.

Other reviews complain about the relationship; I thought...more
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1373880
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

So, here's the short tale of me: I grew up in the countryside of northeastern Pennsylvania in a village with cows and barns and beautiful views from the top of the hill and all that good stuff. I lived in a rickety old house with my parents, three sisters, and a scattering o...more
More about Kristin Cashore...
Fire (Graceling Realm, #2) Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3) Kristin Cashore eSampler Reading 2011 Leveled Reader Grade 5.1.2 Below-Level: Dangerous Storms Social Studies 2006 Leveled Reader Grade 4 Unit 02c

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