Monday, January 3, 2011

What's your grace? - Review of "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

Graceling So all through this book, I was like "I want Katsa's Grace! Or Po's! Or this other person's!" And that got me thinking about what my Grace would be... Maybe something to do with music.. What about you guys? What do you think your Grace would be?

Disclaimer: Book is on loan from the library, I'm just reviewing it for pleasure. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Type: Young Adult, Fantasy, Kick Butt Heroine, I want the hero!, Different World, Different Time, Special Abilities, I want a Grace dangit.

Why this book: I remember wanting to read this when it was released, then I forgot about it. Someone reviewed it recently, and I was able to find it at the library. Yay!

About the book: Katsa is the niece of the King of the Middluns, the country right in the middle of The Seven Kingdoms. Within this world, there are some people "blessed" with special abilities, or talents, called Graces. Gracelings are easily identified by their miscolored eyes; Katsa's one eye is blue, the other green. Since Katsa was a child, she was feared for her Grace, a Killing Grace, though she trained hard to learn how to control it and herself. But her uncle, the King, used her as a threat to keep in his good standing, and she went along with it - in theory. But Katsa created The Council, a network of citizens working against the rulers of the different kingdoms. And it was on a raid for the Council that Katsa first met Po. Who knew he would follow her home. Po is also a Graceling, with a huge secret that could leave Katsa is more untrusting of him. And maybe Katsa's Grace isn't as horrible as she and everyone else believes.

Katsa is one of those strong heroines I'm proud of, and we definitely need more of these types in Young Adult fiction. Katsa understands her Grace is dangerous, and she worked hard to find ways of keeping it under control, working with soldiers and generals to learn what are killing blows and what aren't so that she can complete missions for her uncle. She hates what her uncle makes her do, but she can't see a way out of it, since he gives her such detailed instructions. So instead, she goes all covert and starts the council, creating plots and actually carrying out missions to help the people of her country, The Middluns, and as many others as she can. Katsa is far from unintelligent, but her uncle and his orders make her so frustrated and angry she can't think around him, so when he calls her stupid or insults her brain power, she starts to believe him. Until Po comes into her life. Po, another Graceling, is a Prince from one of the other kingdoms, and he quickly takes to Katsa, despite her scary Grace. And Po does wonders for her. These two characters are amazing together, and I was rooting for them throughout the book. The characters are genuine and true, both good strong heroines, with human flaws.... or as human as a person graced with an ability can get, lol.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. Well, that's not exactly right. The ending was bittersweet. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it just didn't seem right. The build up to the big reunion, and then at the end...   Well, as I said, it's hard to go into anything without giving away some of the story, so I'll leave it at that. However, from what I see, there will be a book released this year that will be a sequel to both this book, and "Fire," which is apparently a prequel-esque book to "Graceling."

I highly recommend "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore. I couldn't put it down, and while the ending wasn't everything I hoped for, I do hope this next installment will tie up any questions, because Katsa is supposed to be in it. I HOPE!! So if you enjoy a good fantasy, with political intrique and a kick-butt heroine, make sure to pick up "Graceling"!

Final rating: FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5).

Purchase "Graceling" and "Fire" by Kristin Cashore from

Have you read "Graceling" or "Fire"? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!


And on that note, please bare with me as I change some things around - new year, new way of doing things. Here's to making 2011 a very book-y year. =)

~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~


Miss Remmers said...

I haven't read any of these books - although they do look interesting. I love your creative title for this post!

Amanda, aka Morning Glow said...

Thank you! This was probably my one flash of creative brilliance for a while, haha. You should definitely check this book out if you're a fan of Young Adult Fantasy. It's worth it.