Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Revisit! Nine years later... Graceling by Kristin Cashore [Book Review]

I've been a reader for a very long time, and as such, I often find myself remembering titles that I read years prior. What often happens with me is I remember liking a book but beyond that I remember NOTHING else.

I've recently come across a new favorite app (guys, apps weren't even really a thing when I first started this Blog -- how times have changed) called SCRIBD which has a wonderful selection of audio books.

Graceling was amongst the audiobook selection so I decided to feast on the memories of years prior and OH was it a wonderful feast.

Here is my review of Graceling, (nearly) ten years later, nine years older, nine years wiser.

Kristin Cashore

Length- 512 pages

Publisher: HMH for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 07, 2009

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa’s Grace is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa’s life begins 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.


After the first time I read Graceling I remember thinking to myself that this book, more than any I had read prior, was truly epic fantasy... at least in the young adult genre.

Graceling is fantasy done right -- the world feels large and all encompassing. The story is gripping and while in the world I found myself truly in her world and fully entranced by the story.

Some fantasies lead me to eye rolling when the plot becomes too convenient, but with Graceling this was not the case.

We begin the story with Katsa showing her colors, and one thing I truly loved about Katsa is the fact her imperfections are not hidden. She's a killer. She's killed many, many people and this has led her character to be different than the typical YA heroine.

The idea of Graces was a nice addition to the plot line and it made sense to the world, and I especially loved that the author did not use a blanket opinion of Graces the same for every land or culture. While this world is incredibly large, we also find out that different members of it see the Graced differently.

The relationship between Katsa and Po was slow building making it feel more genuine.

If I were to have a complaint -- it would be only that the end in some ways did feel rushed. For such a long story the end and completion seemed to come quickly and end swiftly. There was very little finality with the end which did leave me ever so slightly dissatisfied.

All in all, nine years later I agree with my previous rating of 5/5.

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