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Thursday, March 12, 2009


Graceling by Kristin Cashore (October 1st 2008—Harcourt)

Grade: 5 stars out of 5

Summary: Katsa can kill a man without even batting an eyelash for she has the Grace of killing. Her uncle, Randa, had taken Katsa under his wing since she was an infant, but he exploits her ability and sends her on various missions to show that the king is always in power—murdering those who stole from the king, broken arms or fingers if you go against the king.

But Katsa has her own missions aside from the king’s orders. During one of theses mission she runs into this a skilled fighter, but not skilled enough to take her down. When she later arrives home she soon discovers that this stranger happens to be Prince Po from Lienid, an island country. While she is shocked about this, she later befriends him in the most extraordinary way.

Together they will go an adventure to discover what has happen in another country that left his sister, the Queen, locked up in her room. And they will also discover something about their feelings along the way…

Review: Graceling was gorgeously put together and packaged with a beautiful bow presenting itself to the lucky readers.

Let’s start with the world that Kristin has created. It is luscious, detailed, and filled with imagery. What is even more helpful is that if you do happen to be troubled, there is a map in the book that shows the countries and has symbols to point out key locations. Think of Eragon if you will. However, I do have to mention that the various names and overly descriptive backgrounds of each country may bog the reader down. I know for me, it forced me stop reading for some time. It was around the first couple of pages, 30 or so, that made me frustrated—it gave too much at one time. I got lost in the details, in the many names, and the situations.

After I got through the muck, Katsa turned out to be a thrilling character. She was a strong female character who can kick almost everyone’s butt. She had strive, devotion, respect, and a clever mind. However, her stubbornness may be a flaw at points, along with some others—which can also give dimensions to her ever expanding character. She desires to bear no children or wedding rings, which later aggravates me especially at the ending with Po. I am all for being independent, but remaining lovers despite equal feelings on both sides kind of does not make sense to me. Okay, it kind of does. Not being chained down, not being forced to think that someone owns you. It just a pet peeve I guess.

Po, weird name I know, was the pretend laidback, but highly sensitive character that played off Katsa very well. He brought out the feminine side of her, her love aspect. He, himself, also plays his own role. He was selfish but also unselfish; he was the sweet gentle man but also filled with anguish. And he can also kick some major booty as well.

Speaking of lovers, I feel that I have to point out that there is indeed sex in this novel. While it may not be explicit, explicit, I have to recommend to mothers who wants to know if their 12 year old daughter can read this or not. Do not unless they are mature enough. So I definitely recommend this book to the older teen group.

Katsa and Po’s relationship develops over a period of time. Nothing too elaborate or fast paced. I definitely felt that this love does not hinder the plotline at all. In fact, I think it may have helped it in some areas. It gave the reason behind Katsa’s decision to leave Po behind a bit of a small heartbreak. But overall more depth, that there truly was a decision behind it all—their reasons and actions. So was it cliché? In some aspects sure. There were twists and surprise, however, which left me smiling at the unexpected events.

Overall: A wonderful and amazing read! I am definitely stalking this new author and cannot wait to see what she has in store!

Cover A+

P.S. Me + summaries = Yan pounding head on desk...repetitively


  1. I loved Graceling! I'm glad that you gave it an A+. Fire is the prequel and I just saw the cover online, so good!

  2. What a great review! I should really read this soon, it sounds brilliant. I wish I'd gotten the US version though, the cover is so much nicer! (and it's hardback!)

  3. wonderful review!
    And I knowww, that cover is fantastic

  4. haha that is why I usually post the amazon.com summary.

  5. The one thing I don't understand about the summary is the not blinking thing. Does this mean that she's just good at killing? Or is her 'gift' like magic and she doesn't even have to move for someone to drop down dead?

  6. @H, I just restated it so hopefully it might make sense now...

  7. Sounds good.....interesting storyline, it sounds like! Great review--I just love good books!

  8. I want to read this! I have it on my bookshelf, but way too many books to read before it. Great review!

  9. Hello, you won an award.


  10. Oooh, have you revamped your ratings scale, Yan? Because I believe this may be the first perfect score I've seen you give! Glad you liked it so much. I'm getting my brothers to buy this for my birthday present, so that I can own a beautiful hardcover copy. (Hopefully.) :)

  11. An A plus, I should really read this book!

  12. I don't know that I'll read this, but it sounds great.

  13. @Steph Su, yes I am revamping my grades :) Now I have two 5 star rated books!

  14. A beautiful review. I loved Graceling, Katsa and Po...soo perfect. I like your new grading system.

  15. I love this book too! I got it through the library a few months ago but it's definitely one of those I'm itching to buy so I can reread my favorite parts.

    I agree about it taking a little bit to get into. It actually took me about sixty some pages before I did. And it wasn't until sometime after page 100 that I truly fell in *love* with the book. But when I did, I fell hard. I went back and reread the beginning of the book afterwards and you can really appreciate it better once you know Katsa.

    Katsa & Po's relationship was my favorite part of the book & it's one of my new favorite book relationships. I really love how unconventional it is. Po really has to get through her emotional barriers but once he does it's beautiful.

  16. i agree, iloved this book too and if any book deserves to have 5 stars it's this one

  17. I really enjoyed this as well, I love a good kick ass girly charecter, and I LOVE the moment her nurse declares she needs to wear a dress to solve her problems. hahah.
    I've linked to your review here: http://www.thediaryofabookworm.com/search/label/Graceling%20Review at my review of the same.