REVIEW: #64 Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
ISBN: 0547258305
Pages: 480
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: (Taken from

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.


I wasn’t sure about starting this one. Although I’ve heard so many good things about it — it just didn’t sound like something I would normally pick up and read. However, when I asked Twitter what I should start reading, this got the vote. So – with that, I began my journey into this fantasy-fiction novel.

graceling-coverKatsa is this young woman who has her guard up – literally. Trained and Graced to kill — Katsa has little room for human relationships. Being her King’s personal “go-to-killer”, Katsa is one of the most feared woman in all of the kingdoms. But — many people fear what they don’t understand.

Tired of killing innocents, Katsa decides to start a rebellion against her king and leave on a journey to discover and kill and even bigger threat — King Leck.

Katsa, head-strong in her decisions and feelings knows what she has set out to do.. but what she doesn’t ready herself for is falling in love with another Graceling, a Prince.

The only thing I did not like about this book was the beginning – the introductory of characters. I absolutely hate when books feel the need to introduce every possible character in a matter of pages. Especially when it’s fantasy characters with unique names. It’s very hard to keep track of who is who unless you have some substance to their character. There was a lot of opportunity to introduce characters throughout the book that I do not believe Cashore HAD to introduce them all at once.

This is the ONLY issue I had with Graceling, as it may be discouraging to those who aren’t NORMALLY fantasy-fight type book readers.

Overall the book was really good — and I read it in a matter of about 2 days. You’ll come to know Prince Po and fall in love with him as he’s so gallant and charming and it’s so obvious when he’s in love. The match in personalities between Po and Katsa is ideal as she is not much of a communicator of feelings or emotions, and he does all the talking. He knows what she’s feeling and seeks out to make her life happy and comfortable in any way he can, even at the expense of his own un-happiness. (How can you NOT love a man like that?)

I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to be introduced to this type of genre, as well as anyone who enjoys sort of a medieval-type fighting life with kingdoms — and timeless romance!

1 Comment
  1. Kat says

    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”.

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