Graceling, by Kristin Cashore | Book Review #373

IMG_5927Katsa 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.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

I’ve had Graceling in the back of my mind, off and on again, for the last 2 ish years. It feels like it’s been more than that, but what can I say. My memory is terrible. Every once in a while I’ll be scrolling on tumblr, or I’ll just be doing something in my everyday life and then I’m reminded of Graceling. Either by a post I randomly found via tumblr, or the title of this book will pop up in my mind for an unknown reason. Either way, Graceling has been on my radar for quite some time now.

I was talking with a friend of mine, and they recommended that I read Graceling, since I had been wanting another fantasy read. I’m quite happy that I listened to her recommendation.

What I was most looking forward to was Kasta herself. ‘Kasta has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight.’ Doesn’t that immediately grab your attention?! It most definitely grabs mine. Seriously. I’ll be honest though and say that I wasn’t too excited about the fact that Kasta falls in love with Prince Po.

6114777I didn’t exactly enjoy the fact that Graceling was a little predictable, to be honest with you. But I’m glad that the characters themselves came to the realization quickly after the story gave the readers hints

What I liked immediately, about Graceling is that the story just starts mid scene. It’s something I’ve always liked about some of the books I read. Mid-scene reader entry will be a favourite of mine for the rest of my life, most likely.

Another thing that I liked right off the bat is that the main character Katsa is something akin to an assassin. Lady assassin’s –royalty or not– will always have my attention. So if you have any recommendations for me, I will gladly take them into account.

I think my favourite thing about Graceling, is that the roles that are typically held by men, in this fantasy world, like hunting, killing, defending and whatnot, are done extraordinarily well by Katsa.

The ending to Graceling is such a marvellous ending. I’m so happy that Graceling is a standalone, and the rest of the series are all companion novels. However, I can’t help but be selfish in the thought that I wish the rest of the Graceling Realm books were in Katsa’s point of view.

I ended up enjoying Graceling way more that I thought I would. I put off reading Graceling for a long time because I kind of rebelled at the thought of this novel. Like, it was really popular at one point, and because of that, I wanted to distance myself from reading Graceling. Well, I’ve read Graceling now and I can honestly say that while it’s not one of my favourite books, I still really enjoyed reading Katsa’s story!

I give Graceling, 4.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

— Adele

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