Book Review: Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

By Kristin Cashore

Genre: YA, Action, Adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

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Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced 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…

Graceling Review:

From start to finish, I loved everything about this book. It was given to me by my younger brother and it had been sitting on my shelf for some time, but it only took the first two pages for me to get into it.

I found this story to be so compelling and I loved the way the book had so many different levels: female independence, gender equilibrium relationships amongst Kasta and most of her male counter parts, Love, friendship, combat, adventure, comedy and even a layer of evil so unspeakable with King Lec. It made my heart stop, my stomach turn and my skin crawl.

I do not think that I can praise this book enough for giving me Kasta. A character so uniquely independent and self-driven with a powerful perspective and aspirations aimed toward helping those in the 7 kingdoms. Kasta knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want in her life and she does not let anyone, not even Po take that away from her by trying to change her mind. And what was even more rewarding, was Po’s acceptance of Katsa as she was and his unwavering love for her and contentment of being by her side without trying to change her.

Some may not like or agree with the ending [spoiler alert], but I liked that the book ended with the two of them still very much in love with one another but not married. Katsa still had goals to archive and places and people to see. I think that this was a wonderful decision because the author stays true to Katsa’s character and it also comments to her character growth throughout the book as she went from being emotionally cut off and not liking children to want to allow herself to Love Po and deciding to open up combat training schools all over to help and teach children particularly girls, how to defend themselves.

To be honest, I could have read about Katsa beating up brute men in taverns and soldiers all day long! Truly the best thing ever. I loved this book and I would recommend it to everyone and if given the choice, I would add Katsa to my fictional all-star entourage team, with Tetra (Sterling Wayfairer Series), Abby Mills, (Sleepy Hollow), Kia (The Occasional Diamond Thief), Dutch (Killjoys) and Max (Dark Angel) along with Po for his Grace and his amicable character.

Although I liked this book, I do not think that I will be continue the series and read Bitterblue (sequel) or Fire (prequel) based on the character and tonal shift I sensed in the Bitterblue except in the back of the Graceling book. And a from what I can tell, Fire might cover more of King Lec’s past and to be honest, he was scary enough as it is in Graceling and I’m not too eager to encounter his character any time soon.

I loved this book so much and I can’t wait for the next great read like this book. I’m pretty sure it will be the next two books in the Sterling Wayfairer series which are set to be released by the summer of this year, but since that’s still a few months away, I’ll just have to sit on my hands. :s


Thanks so much for reading my review. I hope you check out Graceling. 🙂

Until next time,



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