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by Kristin Cashore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Graceling Realm (1), Seven Kingdoms Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,220561673 (4.13)1 / 703
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.
  1. 333
    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. 301
    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. 230
    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. 211
    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. 83
    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.
  9. 50
    Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (alaskabookworm)
  10. 61
    First Test by Tamora Pierce (foggidawn)
  11. 30
    The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable (bbrux)
    bbrux: Young woman on an adventure to discover her hidden talents.
  12. 30
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (cransell)
    cransell: Both excellent YA fantasy with strong female characters and great world building.
  13. 20
    Mistwood by Leah Cypess (foggidawn)
  14. 20
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer (justjukka)
    justjukka: Protagonist is relegated to third-class citizenship because of her gifts and must overcome prejudice.
  15. 21
    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.
  16. 43
    Divergent by Veronica Roth (hairball, Echocliffs)
    hairball: Young women rebelling against their prescribed role.
  17. 21
    The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (Nikkles)
  18. 10
    Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi (avatiakh)
  19. 00
    The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (furieous)
  20. 00
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (ajwseven)

(see all 31 recommendations)


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» See also 703 mentions

English (558)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (561)
Showing 1-5 of 558 (next | show all)
Great new take on traditional fantasy. Love the characters and couldn't put it down! ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Lady Katsa is the niece of King Randa, but more importantly, at least to Randa, is that she's a Graceling--one of the people born with a special power. Katsa's Grace, showing itself at an uncomfortably early age, appears to be killing. Randa has her trained in all the fighting arts, and then uses her as his enforcer. When a prominent subject, or someone he's trading with, or others anger him, he sends Lady Katsa, along with Armsmaster Oll, and Lord Giddon, to deliver his message. Katsa is the one who delivers the painful, or sometimes fatal, part of the message. It's not a job she likes, nor do Oll and Giddon. They don't see any way to stop doing the bidding of the king, but on their own time, they're doing something else--organizing missions to use their skills, resources, contacts, and Katsa's Grace, to help people who are being unfairly abused.

They do this through an organization they call the Council, and their latest mission is to rescue an elderly prince of another kingdom, being secretly held in yet another kingdom. He's a harmless old man of no obvious political importance. They do rescue him, and learn that he, too, has no idea why anyone would think he was worth kidnapping. In the process, though, Katsa encounters a young man not much older than she is, who is also a Graceling. She doesn't learn who he is, until they are back in Randa's kingdom.

The unknown Graceling also arrives at Randa's court, He's Prince Po, from the kingdom the newly-rescued elderly prince is from--though Katya, Oll, and their other allies are hiding the man, not telling Randa about him. He's Po's grandfather, and Po wants to get him home to safety, but is persuaded by the argument that as long as they don't know why he was kidnapped in the first place, he's not safe if too many people know where he is.

What follows are two strands of conflict, the search for the perpetrator of the kidnapping (it wasn't the king who was keeping him locked up in secret, who was doing that because he was being paid), and the growing conflict between Randa's demands on Katsa and her own values. They're both going to come to head, and it will change a lot of lives. Along with these major strands, Lord Giddon is in love with Katsa, but in some important ways doesn't understand her at all. He's a good man and shares a lot of her values, but it's simply incomprehensible to him that Katsa is serious about never marrying and never having children. There are other conflicts, and other excellent, interesting, and loyal characters, and brave and tough, and very young, princess, and the development of the characters I've named and ones I haven't is wonderful.

I found this story completely absorbing and satisfying. Worth mentioning: It's a young adult novel, but some might want to be warned that there is one sex scene included.


I bought this audiobook.
  LisCarey | Mar 21, 2022 |
I wasn't hugely impressed with this novel. It's engaging and raises some interesting questions about power, ability, and responsibility, but the resolution of the various conflicts feels abrupt. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 4, 2022 |
Some moments/elements veered on eyeroll-worthy and felt weaker, but never enough to make me consider putting the book down.

The story balanced characters, plot, and action/tension really well, and I continually wanted to know what would happen. As a kid/teen I would have killed to read about a woman like Katsa who doesn't want kids, is (mostly) supported in her decision, AND DOESN'T CHANGE HER MIND BY THE END OF THE BOOK. Would. Have. Killed. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
Ive read this book before, but read it again because I wanted to have another go at finishing this series and wanted to start at the beginning to do it properly. The basic idea of Gracelings is something I see a lot of it fiction, exceptional people with preternatural powers, but I really like the way this book handles and presents the idea. Plus, heterochromia is cool.

I really love the main characters and the different ways Katsa and Po deal with their situations and with themselves. To me this story is as much about their personal journeys as it is them navigating the dangers of their world. I have a hard time keeping all the different kingdoms and factions straight, but that didnt really detract from my enjoyment of the book. This is a good solid fantasy series with great characters and I totally recommend it. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 558 (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 editionscalculated
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the original novel by Kristin Cashore. Please do not combine with the graphic novel adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.
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Average: (4.13)
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