Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

gracelingPublished: October 1st 2008 by Harcourt

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 471

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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.

My review:

This book is a whirlwind. There is never a boring moment, it’s super fast paced, and it has all the elements I like in a book.

This book has a lot of similarities to Throne of Glass, and you’ll have to read that whole series and this book to understand what I mean. I won’t say, because spoilers. Katsa reminds me a lot of Celaena. Both arrogant, both powerful, both a member – in some way – of a royal court. Friends with princes’ but also insecure about what goes on in their life.

While the two books share a lot of base story parts, they are each completely different, though I would recommend Graceling if you liked Thorne of Glass, and vice versa.

Graceling takes place over a span of several months, and I didn’t find myself disoriented by the pace, but maybe a little surprised. Though the book is over four hundred pages, I can’t help but want it to be longer. There is a lot that happens in this book, and it doesn’t focus on one problem more than other problems that the characters have. Each part of the story gets its own spotlight, though it doesn’t always last long.

This book truly felt like a journey. Usually in the books I read, the journey happens over three or more books, but this one was a complete adventure in its own right. It’s not some half way jaunt through a forest, this book takes you across continents. This is a tale of a girl, and eventually a boy, who help each other, and who might just save a little girl from a terrible fate, and the world from an evil king.

While there are two other books, they don’t follow Katsa’s story like this one. Usually I don’t like to read series like this, but I enjoyed reading this book, and the next one, Fire, so much that I know I’ll read the other books in the series as well. I actually got Bitterblue, the third book, for Christmas.

I do have to comment on the ending though. It was a little anticlimactic, though in this case, the journey is far more important than the ending. I wish there was a little more of a fight or something, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting authors to write more in most cases.

I really love this book, have for over four years now, so pick it up and read it!

★★★★.5

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