Review: Graceling

Author: Kristin Cashore
  • Series: Graceling Realm #1
  • Published: October 1, 2008
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 471 pages (hardcover)
  • Source: Bought
His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graces 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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~
This book will forever and always be a favorite of mine. It blew me away and exceeded all expectations I had for it. I wanted to sit down and read a great fantasy novel, but this is so much more. It blew me away and impressed me in every sense of the term.
Katsa is such a unique character. At first glance, I thought she was going to be your typical young adult heroine, but she is so unique. She started off as a brutal weapon for a King that wanted to control everyone and have his subjects fear him at Katsa's hands and easy ability to kill thanks to her Grace. Then, she realized she is capable of being her own person and not following the orders of someone else. She is more than a weapon meant for destruction, and she turns into this heroine that will do anything to save the Kingdom and herself when she discovers the truth of her Grace alongside Po.
Don't even get me started on Po. If I could have my own Po, I would make my own Po. He is one of the most loyal characters I have ever come across, and he is incredibly understanding. Together, him and Katsa make the perfect team and he will always care for her, no matter how little she thinks of herself. At the end of the novel, Po and the problems he incurred when trying to save everyone's lives broke my heart into pieces. I seriously cared so strongly about these two.
The plot in this novel is ever-evolving, the characters are so easily to get attached to, and Cashore's writing will pull you in from the very beginning and never let you go. This is a book that'll stick with you forever. While she has continued to tell stories of the Graceling realm, I so greatly wish that Katsa and Po's story individually was continued. They are two characters that I never want to let go.
This is one of those novels that reminds me why I love reading so much. When a story like this comes along, it'll always have a place in your heart. 
I love this cover. It's simple and amazing and that knife speaks volumes about Katsa and her mysteriously beautiful eyes. I don't think I am capable of bringing myself to hate anything about this book.
5 stars


  1. I still haven't read Graceling, even though it has been recommended to me time and time and TIME again.What is wrong with me, you say? Eh, no idea. I am a bit of a dummy I suppose! And now I read this review, which is an all out raving review. I mean it is a favorite, and that is a big thing. I really need to hurry up and read it already.

  2. I am pretty much new to know the books of Cashore and I’m not really a huge fan of fantasy. Maybe my sister would want to try it. Good review though.

  3. I read and LOVED this book to! Great review! :-)

  4. I read this a long time ago when it first came out and over it...I need to find my copy and read again!!