Published: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page Count: 472 pages
Series: Seven Kingdoms Realm, #1
First Line: "In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind."
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 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.
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.
GRACELING was fantastic. I’m a sucker for high fantasy, and this has now become one of my new favorite books.
Katsa is just a such a great character. She is so strong, but she has her weaknesses. She doesn’t let anybody stop her from doing what she wants to do, and I loved how she stood up to her uncle (A.K.A. one of the kings of this world).
Don’t hate me, but with a name like Katsa and just seeing The Hunger Games, I compared names a lot back and forth. Now, these are two totally different books, but some names are similar:
Katsa and Katniss (fighter; main protagonist)
Po and Peeta (both love the main protagonist)
Giddon and Gale (both love the main protagonist)
Bitterblue and Rue (both get help from the main protagonist)
Did anybody else notice this?
The action in GRACELING was awesome. When action does pop up in the book, Cashore makes the reader feels as if they are fighting alongside the characters. And for me, the pacing was perfect. If you’re looking for an action and fast-paced book, you won’t find it in this book. Because this world is very complex and complicated, GRACELING is a very complex novel; therefore, it takes time to explain this entire world. Once you do understand the Seven Kingdoms world, this book is super hard to put down. And coming from someone who hates slow books, I can say that this one not to be missed. It’s almost a five-hundred-page novel, and I read it in two days.
If you haven’t read GRACELING and you love high fantasy, this a must-read book. Seriously. Just keep your mind open because Kristin Cashore is going to take you on one of the most epic journeys of all time!
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