Release Date: October 1st, 2008
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 one of the very first young-adult novels I read. Up until then, I pretty much had no idea there was an age-group between childrens fiction and adult fiction. Long story short, a reread of Graceling was long overdue. I plowed through the pages, reading whenever I had a spare moment.
Kristin Cashore is a master storyteller. Her prose is nothing short of pure elegance, and the world is nothing short of clarity. The world she weaves with twenty-six letters is phenomenal. The characters live in a medieval-esque fantasy world where Graces define who you are… and who you aren’t. Being born with a Grace can mean disgrace is some kingdoms, and nothing at all in another.
Katsa, the main character, is Graced with killing. She knows countless ways to kill a man, armed or not. Seeing Katsa’s journey to humanity, for lack of a better word, was yet another aspect Cashore excelled at. The story was more than an action-filled adventure, it was a journey we experienced through Katsa’s mind and heart as well.
There isn’t much to say about Graceling. It was good. Unbelievably good. I rarely reread novels. In fact, Graceling was the only novel I reread. And something tells me, I might read it again. The beautiful words, dynamic characters, and unpredictable plot will captivate you no matter how many times you read it.