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Elegance and Adventure: A Review of GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

Posted by on May 28, 2012
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) 
Kristin Cashore
472 pages
Publisher: Harcourt
Release Date: October 1st, 2008
Source: Gifted
Rating: LOVED

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.

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  1. I have yet to read this novel. However I have it on my tbr pile. So many people love this author and this book. I have heard nothing but good things about it.

    Great Review

    Maura @ Monster of Books

  2. I finally got around to reading Graceling (well, I listened to it on audio) and I wrote my review for it last week but I had SUCH a hard time doing it! It's one of those few that's hard to find words for <3 and I loved it so much that I read Fire right away! Now I'm just hoping to find time for Bitterblue :) I can't believe I waited this long to read it. And wow, this one must be special to you if it's the only one you reread :)

    Lovely review, Hafsah!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  3. Yay! This was one of my first too! Graveling was part of the reason I got so obsessed with YA. <3

    Aah! So cool that this is a reread novel for you. Kristin Cashore has got all the makings of a great book down pat. Thank you for the awesome review!

  4. I have heard such great things about this series, and Im really excited that you think the writing is so great. Writing is what makes the biggest difference between a good book and a great book. I will have to pick up a copy of this book and start reading this series!

    Thanks for the great review :)

  5. I loved this book so much, and it's totally worth rereading over and over again! I'm surprised that you don't reread books at all, though, Hafsah! I don't do it often, but sometimes I need to in order to remember everything before I read a sequel. Plus, for my favorite books, I like to reread just to be in the world again. Lovely review! =)

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  6. I still need to re-read this one before reading Bitterblue, and I'm almost putting it off because I loved it so much the first time I'm afraid it won't live up to my expectations. I'm glad it did for you! It makes me feel like I won't be disappointed with my re-read.

  7. I absolutely loved this one too!!! Something about the world that Cashore created is just so unique. I didn't think it could get better after Graceling but I enjoyed Fire even more!

  8. This book is easily one of my favorite books of all time. I read this one first, and then FIRE. I love FIRE even more than this one. I don't know how that's possible lol. Kristin Cashore is a literary genius! I own Bitterblue, but haven't read/started it yet. *Sighs* No time anymore. Thanks for the review!!!!

    Alyssa Susanna

  9. I totally agree with you! I just finished Graceling and I cant believe I didnt pick this book up sooner! :( I really loved Katsa's and Po love! I honestly hope to have a relationship like theirs with my significant other!

  10. how lucky you are to have GRACELING as your first YA novel :)
    I especially love Cashore's prose, too. And I'm re-reading it at the moment (to prepare for finally reading BITTERBLUE).

  11. I havent had the chance to read this book yet but I've heard nothing but good things about it! The fact the you said you reread this book says alot about it! I usually only give 5 stars to a book that I would want to reread!! Thanks for the review and hopefully I will get to read this soon!

  12. My friend won this book on a contest only weeks back and I've been nagging her to let me borrow it! After reading your review, I'm going to nag here some more! :P

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