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Graceling by Kristin Cashore
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,836437724 (4.18)1 / 622
Authors:Kristin Cashore
Info:Orlando, FL : Harcourt, 2008.
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
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

Recently added byKeri_Anne, Bokhyllad, private library, julesp15, harangar, angelista, mindyy, lreed23
  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 (436)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (439)
Showing 1-5 of 436 (next | show all)
Dashed hopes. That's what this book was for me. With all the rave reviews I expected a 5 star read but I was left disappointed.

The first half of the book was ok and seemed to be heading some place good but then Katsa and Po rushed into a sexual relationship that she wasn't ready for. For some reason she thought that being with Po was an all-or-nothing affair, she needed time to get used to her feelings for him. One second she acknowledges her attraction to him and the next they're doing the dirty - I was unprepared for this being a YA book and all. Not a good message for the kids.

Afterwards I expected Katsa to soften just a little around the edges at least with Po; more smiles, small touches, gestures, glances between them but I was left wanting. The tension between the two characters before they got together was good but afterwards...it all seemed very forced. Katsa didn't love Po, Po may have loved Katsa but she didn't love him. She felt friendship - a bond of sharing, affection but love? No. It was almost as if she was responding to Po's desire for her rather than her own wants. She was wooden for most of the book, she rarely had any emotions except anger and perhaps fear. Even her feelings for Bitterblue were muted. She cared for her and taught her how to hold a blade because she needed her to live so that leaving Po behind had been worth it. Bitterblue didn't appear to grow on her at all, Katsa cared very little for others except her cousin and Po and even then it was debatable as to how much she cared for them.

Katsa didn't really change over the course of the book. Yes she refused to be her uncle's tool anymore but what else? She is with Po only because he needs her and she cares about him - that is it. She is not perfect, she doesn't realise that Po would never "trap" her in what Katsa sees as a typical marriage, one where the husband is always dominating and controlling his wife. Po on the other hand, made progress in leaps and bounds, I think I would have been happier if this story had been told from his perspective. He showed plenty of emotion, his grace would have made it interesting and he had all of that family who I would have loved to have seen more of. So much happened to him in this book that he sort of made Katsa look boring in comparison.


The demise of King Leck came about rather suddenly and too easily in my opinion. He was made out to be a very powerful evil man, hard to kill but he was brought down after only a couple of very short face-to-face encounters with Katsa. It was implied earlier in the book that he would try to make Katsa hunt and kill Po or someone that one of them cared about. It never happened.

The story after King Leck's defeat was strange. I felt it unlikely that Po would have survived so well on his own even though he did suffer permanent injury. I like a bit of reality in my fantasy - it has to have some believability to it.

All of this made me wonder if this book had originally been written for adults and was cut down to a shorter teenage-friendly size. If it had then I would understand why King Leck had to be defeated so quickly and why the second half of the book was so odd.

As I read the last sentences I felt sad, not because it was an unhappy ending, it wasn't (it wasn't exactly a happy one either) but because it had potential to be something more than it was. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
This book was amazing! No wonder it received so many awards and great reviews. Katsa was a great character and I loved Po too. Original and a world that I would like to visit again. After being an assassin for many years, Katsa begins to question her actions and humanity. Her growth throughout the book just makes her more interesting especially because despite the growth she never really looses the important parts of herself. Po is interesting and I would love to read his back story and his POV during his adventure with Katsa. ( )
  cfranson | Sep 18, 2014 |
Graceling... Where do I start with Gracelin? Its another book I have waited a long time to read, and was lucky enough to find in a charity shop in my local town centre for only £1. I couldn't believe it and thought to myself that if I didn't like it then it would be ok because it was only a £1 I'd wasted. Did I waste money? Hell no.

In this brilliant, brilliant book, when a child's eyes turn two different colours it can only mean one thing, they have Grace. What is grace I hear you ask? Well Grace is a power that comes from deep within, it can be a power to help in the ad of anything from holding your breath under water for much longer than humanly possible or it could be a Grace for killing, like Katsa. Just like the others who a Graced, she knows that having these talents don't leave them put on a pedestal and worshipped, it leaves them isolated and feared. Unlike most , Katsa has the 'protection' of her uncle King Randa. Everything comes with a price though, for her the protection of her own flesh and blood means being able to use her grace to rough up those who

Katsa doesn't like being a lap dog, but unfortunately her part of the seven kingdoms aren't kind to those Graced and she's left without many options other than to obey. That is until she meets Po, a Lienid with a grace of his own. After helping to rescue an import member of the Lienid family, Katsa and Po need to find the truth about the kidnapping, who is behind it and why they would want to do it in the first place. By doing so, they help uncover a truth about the seven kingdoms, one they never saw coming but was sitting in plain view from the start.

I loved this book, I loved the characters. Everything. There was just enough romance, adventure and secrets to keep you hooked from the get go. The friendships and relationships in this story grew perfectly, you didn't just turn a page half way through the book and it be there. You could see it slowly building and you got fall in love with them because of how perfect they were as character alone, but better together. Everything down to the secondary characters in these books were so well thought out that you couldn't help but like all of them. Even the villains, who had such a brilliant back story were people that you could look back on the book and think 'I know I should have hated him because he was evil, but damn he was a good character'

I was a bit disappointed at the end to find out the next 2 books weren't a follow on in the traditional sense, but to do with different characters. It seems to be a trend that a lot of authors are doing these days and while it doesn't make me dislike a book, I do love a good series I can sink my teeth into. In my eyes, the longer (if its good) the better haha.

The world set in Graceling was really unique and imaginative book that no matter your genre preference, there is a little in it for every one. ( )
  Staciesnape | Sep 14, 2014 |
I give up. 77% in and I can read not a single word more. It has become so tedious and boring and bland. I usually automatically 1-star all DNF's, but this admittedly had a handful of redeeming qualities.

It started off with such promise. The heroine is strong and independent. There's no insta-love. The hero is sweet and quite endearing. It's sad, but even with all if that going for it, it fell apart.

I picked this up a number of times, even well after I didn't want to, because I wanted so much to like it and to care. Let's face it, though. There's nothing enjoyable about forcing yourself through a book that is failing to engage you.

I'll review more in-depth at a later time. ( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
I'm so glad someone recommended this book to me. I am so not, even a little bit, disappointed.

The ending, oh the ending, it's good. I think I've felt happy and lonely at the same time. And it's a good kind of loneliness. Po. Oh Po. ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 436 (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

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kristin Cashoreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, David AaronNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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