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Graceling by Kristin Cashore
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5,922442705 (4.18)1 / 626
Member:bluesalamanders
Title:Graceling
Authors:Kristin Cashore
Info:Orlando, FL : Harcourt, 2008.
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
Rating:****1/2
Tags:type: hardback, age: young adult, genre: fantasy, read 2009, read 2010, strong women, read 2011, read 2012, read 2014

Work details

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  1. 322
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (librarymeg, saltypepper)
    saltypepper: The heroines' voices are very similar, maybe due to their similar response to the awful circumstances they find themselves in.
  2. 271
    Fire by Kristin Cashore (SheReads, Anonymous user)
    SheReads: Prequel to Graceling about different characters.
    Anonymous user: because you get the same different world paranormal thing and you get the romance and the good conquers evil
  3. 200
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Aerrin99, humouress)
    Aerrin99: Aerin and Katsa are both gifted women who struggle to find the line between respect and fear. Also, they kick butt.
    humouress: The way the heroines feel like outsiders because of their heritage is similar, as is the way the authors describe the way the heroines think.
  4. 201
    Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (francescadefreitas, helgagrace, espertus)
    espertus: Both Graceling and the Lioness quartet are stories of strong but vulnerable young women wanting to use their considerable powers for good and maintain their identity in the face of romance.
  5. 170
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (deadbookdarling)
    deadbookdarling: Both are set in magical worlds, have strong female leads and a dash of romance.
  6. 170
    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (foggidawn, Aerrin99, humouress)
    Aerrin99: For stories that feature interesting and strong woman matched with equally interesting and strong men, with a dash of danger, adventure, and magic tossed in, try either of these books!
    humouress: The way the heroines feel like outsiders because of their heritage is similar, as is the way the authors describe the way the heroines think.
  7. 90
    Terrier by Tamora Pierce (notemily)
  8. 50
    Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (alaskabookworm)
  9. 73
    The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (notemily, C.Vick)
    C.Vick: While different in essence, I think Turner's Attolia books have a similar feel to Graceling.
  10. 51
    First Test by Tamora Pierce (foggidawn)
  11. 20
    Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (luna_lovegood)
    luna_lovegood: Exactly as kazhout said "strong, beautiful, intelligent, and sassy." Plus, badass and good heart.
  12. 20
    Mistwood by Leah Cypess (foggidawn)
  13. 20
    The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable (bbrux)
    bbrux: Young woman on an adventure to discover her hidden talents.
  14. 21
    The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (Nikkles)
  15. 10
    Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi (avatiakh)
  16. 10
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Rozax)
    Rozax: Protagonist is relegated to third-class citizenship because of her gifts and must overcome prejudice.
  17. 00
    The Legacy of Tril: Soulbound by Heather Brewer (SunnySD)
  18. 00
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (bluepolicebox)
    bluepolicebox: Similar magic system.
  19. 00
    Defy by Sara B. Larson (BookLizard)
    BookLizard: Strong female character. Political intrigue. Realistic love triangle.
  20. 00
    The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (furieous)

(see all 30 recommendations)

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English (443)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (446)
Showing 1-5 of 443 (next | show all)
I had fun with this book while I was reading it. However, the lower score comes because after I was done with it, I realized certain glaring issues with this book that I just couldn't get past.

First of all is the idea of Gracelings. Even though Gracelings and the main characters' individual Graces play a huge part in this book, it's never explained where these Graces come from. Some people just have them (all of them varying in helpfulness and strength) and you're just supposed to accept this. While I was not expecting some in depth explanation of this, I was wanting something. Like maybe an explanation based on religious beliefs, or maybe some sort of folklore that people use to explain these powers. Alas, there was nothing.

In fact, this world seemed completely devoid of anything that makes new worlds interesting. There was not folklore, no religion as far as the reader could see, and no exploration of the cultural differences between kingdoms. There were a couple of cultural things that are touched on, like how Lienid actually likes Gracelings unlike the other kingdoms, but as far as the actual people go, there wasn't much to distinguish them. No accents, no description of what they look like, nothing. I felt a little robbed since I wanted to know more about these places and people rather than the flora and fauna that the characters see on their travels. (There is a lot of this, and it drove me nuts.)

On top of this, I couldn't like Katsa as much as I wanted to. Her character needed more delving into, and while I could tell that there was some really interesting baggage and motivations behind her actions none of these were actually touched upon which made her feel a little flat. There was also a rather feminist theme surrounding Katsa that I would have loved to see more fleshed out. I can appreciate what she was trying to do with this theme, but I felt that it fell a little short and could have been expanded to become more impactful for the reader. Especially for the younger audience that it is written for.

The dialogue was sometimes on the iffy side. While some of the dialogue was really realistic, there were times when I rolled my eyes cause I just couldn't see these characters, let alone anyone, talk that way. For this reason, there is a particular scene that is really disappointing since I was anticipating for it to happen, and then when it happened the whole dialogue was just so melodramatic and uncharacteristic that it totally ruined the scene.

Also, the pacing of the plot was very up and down, with some sections that were fun and fast-paced, and others that seemed to drag on forever. That and the main plot of the book doesn't really come into play until about halfway through, which really annoyed me. It almost felt like a secondary plot when it really should have been brought in closer to the beginning of the book rather than just setting up for this big reveal and then taking forever to do anything about it. I think more time is actually spent on the characters traveling than actual action. Hence the slow parts.

This book had so much potential to be awesome but then kind of dropped the ball. Don't get me wrong, this book was not horrible. I actually enjoyed it for a little while, but it really doesn't stand up to any close inspection which I can't really help but give. However, if you're just looking for something fun to read really quickly, this book goes by fast and is good enough to hold your attention until the end. Just don't think about it too hard. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
This is very, very good. I feel I have to start with that, because it's in my nature to focus on my criticism more than my praise, and I don't want my criticism to take away from the fact that this was a very, very good book. The plot was compelling, the world was interesting, and the main character, Katsa, is FINALLY a female character you can sink your teeth into. She's strong, tough, flawed, interesting, and consistent all the way through (not one of those warrior chicks who finds love only to settle down and learn crochet, ahem).

The only flaw? I wish the author had gone deeper. I felt that there was so much more to this character and this world that could have been brought out. It felt a bit shallow, which is a shame. But I will be reading the rest of this series. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
I have been wanting to read this book for quite a while and it seemed that every time I tried to get it from my local library it would always be checked out. I thought that that was a good thing, but I just wanted my turn to read it. Well, I finally got to read it and boy am I glad that I did. This book is intriguing from start to finish.
I love the main character, Katsa. How cool is it that this girl has such incredible fighting skills that even kings fear her? Most people see girls as defenseless weaklings, so the fact that this girl is completely opposite is awesome. I liked how throughout her journey she learned new things about herself, and was able to better understand her powers. Prince Po is another incredible character that deals with many hardships as well. I loved everything about their journey together. And the story as a whole keeps you guessing about what may come next. The ending nearly broke my heart, but that was a heck of an ending. I know the next book is a companion novel to this one, but if it's in the same world as this one, it will no doubt be remarkable. ( )
  JosP | Jan 15, 2015 |
A very refreshing young adult novel with an atypical female lead. Katsa is a Graceling, a person born with a special enhanced ability (not a super power persay, as they are more mundane abilities; referred to as a Grace), and evident by having eyes of two different colors. Katsa's Grace is for fighting and her uncle the King uses her as his enforcer. Katsa is a smart woman, can easily beat or kill anyone who comes against her and desires none of the trappings or roles for the women of her country. She can take care of herself, and frequently is the one doing the rescuing. This a good book for young girls, and a good alternative for a genre which can be filled with princesses needing rescuing or focused on marriage.
  sawcat | Jan 10, 2015 |
Recommended by Aimee Villet
  JennyArch | Jan 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 443 (next | show all)
In a world of gossip girls, it is perhaps refreshing to have a teenage heroine who cuts off all her hair because it gets in her way; and Kristin Cashore’s eccentric and absorbing first novel, “Graceling,” has such a heroine. Katsa is tough, awkward, beautiful and consumed by pressing moral issues
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kristin Cashoreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, David AaronNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For my mother,
Nedda Previtera Cashore,
who has a meatball Grace,
and my father,
J. Michael Cashore,
who is Graced with losing (and finding) his glasses
First words
In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547258305, Paperback)

If you had the power to kill with your bare hands, what would you do with it?

Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

Graceling is the first book in a series, and Kristin Cashore’s first work of fiction. It sets up a vivid world with engaging characters that readers will certainly look forward to following beyond the last chapter of this book. (Ages 14 and up) --Heidi Broadhead

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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