Sunday, January 9, 2011


By : Kristin Cashore
Published By: The Orion Publishing Group.
Released : Available Now
Details : Paperback , 371 Pages


Book Blurb : Taken 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, and in her case horrifying, 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... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

A Graceling is a person with an exceptional skill for something. They are distinguishable as they have two different coloured eyes. The particular grace can be something useful such as fighting, archery, cooking, accounting, mind reading or storytelling etc. or something totally useless such as eating rocks without getting sick. Once a Graceling’s eyes have settled (changed colours) they are usually taken away from their family by the king until their grace is revealed. They are also shunned and feared by the people of the kingdom.

I have always had a fascination with the medieval stories such as King Arthur and Merlin, Robin Hood etc. This is set in this era around the 7 kingdoms being Monsea, Lienin, Sunder, Westin, Middluns, Estill and Nander.

I would like to say that although this book is slow to start, I recommend that you keep reading as it does get better. I kept going and found that I had trouble putting the book down (really hated having to go to work) as I really needed to know what happened to all the characters. It's pace reminded me of  'The Forest of Hands and Teeth' by Carrie Ryan and 'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer. Two books that I found slow to start but had to keep reading to find out what happened in the end.

There are some interesting twists and turns and a little bit of smexi action, although being a YA book I can understand that a lot of it is implied rather than described. This may not be enough for some older readers, but hey use your imagination. It isn’t hard to work out what is going on.

The 3 main characters in the book:

Katsa – the main character, a girl of around 18. Both her parents are dead and she lives with her Uncle King Randa of the Middluns and Prince Raffin (his son). Katsa is a Graceling with one green and one blue eye. She has a grace for killing which is discovered when she was eight and a cousin of hers tried to molest her. She struck out and killed him instantly, hence her grace being discovered. Katsa hates her grace, but is used by her Uncle King Randa his personal hitman/thug, doing his dirty work for him and punishing those he believes have deceived him.

I really liked Katsa as she was a unique female lead in a book. She didn’t rely on others, in fact they were all afraid of her, but she does have trust issues and doesn’t let people in emotionally. She has vowed to never marry or have children, which is unacceptable/unheard of in the time this book is set.

Prince Greening Grandemalion of Lienid or Po as he is known to everyone – What can I say about Po. He is a Graceling like Katsa but he has one silver and one gold eye. His grace is for fighting and is the only person who can compete with Katsa in a fight. He has full faith in Katsa and in her grace.

 Princess Bitterblue – She is Po’s cousin, and is the daughter of King Leck of Monsea. She is smarter than her 10 years and is the future queen of Monsea.

The only issue I had was that I personally thought the ending fell short. I would have liked for it to go on further, and can’t wait for book 3 in the series which is about 'Bitterblue'. Hopefully there is more about these characters in that book as the 2nd book 'Fire',  is more of a prequel to 'Graceling' , from what I have read.




  1. Thanks Carolyn for that great review:D

  2. Katsa sounds awesome! I really want to read this now.

  3. I really liked this one since it reminded me of The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce, a series I loved. I thought the ending fell short too though.

  4. Hi Aylee and A Canadian Girl,

    Carolyn will be doing a review on 'Fire', too shortly. I have my copies here but havent read yet. If you girls haven't read Amanda Hocking, Trylle series and MBA My Blood Approves series, I recommend them. SMashwords or Amazon.


  5. Hi everyone,

    Yes Aylee, Katsa is a really good charcter I liked her.

    A Canadian Girl, the ending was a bit cut off wasn't it. Hopefully we will find out what happens when Bitterblue gets finished and published.

    Thanks Michelle for giving me the opportunity to write this review, I loved doing it and will do the one for Fire when I finish it.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hi Carolyn,

    Your most welcome. I enjoy your style of reviewing. You are the type of reviewer I would call 'fair'. The thing with characters, is, they are just characters and if they evoke feelings good or bad in a reader then that means the author is doing their job of writing, well. We don't have to 'like', all characters in a book but for me personally I also enjoy a character that you are supposed to not like. I don't find them annoying , I find them exactly what the author wanted us to feel about them. Sometimes reviews can just slam characters rather than seeing them for the part that they were intended to play. If that makes sense.

    No pressure , when you are ready for 'Fire', anybody who has a book blog knows how long it takes to read a book and write a review:D


  8. I loved Graceling and Fire. But you are right, Fire is a prequel. I can´t wait to read Bitterblue!

  9. must pull mine out and read it, Carolyn's made me want to bump it up my to read list.


  10. Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for a great review! I'm keen to pick this one up and give it a read.
    You can guest review for us anytime floss!!


  11. Hi Marissa!!

    Carolyn is reviewing , 'Fire', for us next:D


We love hearing from you, your comments mean a lot to us.