Graceling (Seven Kingdoms Trilogy #1)

Hot
 
3.7 (3)
 
4.0 (38)
4027   7

User reviews

38 reviews

 
(23)
 
(9)
 
(4)
 
(2)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
 
4.5  (38)
 
3.8  (14)
 
3.9  (14)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Back to Listing
38 results - showing 1 - 10  
1 2 3 4  
Ordering 
 
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0

Intriguing But Slow

A minority of people are gifted with special abilities that are marked by mismatched eyes, these are known as the Graced. They are treated with disdain, fear and hate. Used as servants and weapons they belong to their King, having little to no freedom of their own. The seven kings are often at war with each other using Gracelings gifted with great fighting skills as their swords. The main character Katsa is one such Graceling serving her uncle King Randa. Unfortunately for her, she is gifted with the ability to kill, hence making her feared by all and used as her uncle's own personal thug.

Katsa uses her gifts for good as well; secretly creating a Council that aims to protecting the average person from the idiocy of the seven kings. She rescues the father of the Lienid king taking the interest of Prince Po from Lienid. Po is also a Graceling gifted with fighting and has one silver and one gold eye. Together they escape Katsa's uncle, searching for the truth of why the grandfather was kidnapped. However, they get more than they bargained for; discovering horrible secrets about Po's family, the Graced and the royalty of a neighbouring kingdom.

I loved the strong female character of Katsa. She is a woman who can defend herself and those she loves, survive pretty much anything and kicking butt while doing so! Bitterblue, a young princess is also a strong girl who survives a lot of physical and emotional difficulties.

It was a bit slow in the middle but the end had a good twist. It was written well with good development of the main characters, Graced abilities and the world they live in.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Graced with Difference

Yet another book leaving me pondering what sort of supernatural/magical/fantastical power I would like to have if I was forced to choose. In Kristin Cashore’s “Graceling,” people don’t get to choose this power, they are born with it and it’s called a Grace. A Grace is an exceptional talent at a given skill. There are Graced swimmers, chefs, climbers, and for Katsa, Cashore’s main character, she is Graced with fighting. She can beat the living daylights out of anyone who messes with her, regardless of whether she’s armed or not, or facing just one foe or an army of enemies. Homegirl has got skills.

It is because of this extreme skill in certain violent things like fighting that not everyone is jazzed with people who have a Grace, known as Gracelings. Instead, most people in Cashore’s fictional seven kingdoms fear those who are supernaturally talented because their powers can be used for evil and control rather than good. Katsa feels like a leper because most people shy away from her for fear that she’ll knock ‘em into next week at the slightest annoyance. Ultimately, Katsa feels Cursed rather than Graced.

This whole book highlights the fear of difference, and I think that’s a great theme kids need to read about. Even though it’s 2012, kids are still sent messages of fear regarding race, religion, gender and sexuality. Cashore seems to be sending the message to embrace all differences and use them for positive means. Katsa may be one stellar fighter, but she uses her skills to protect the weak and defenseless. “Graceling” shows us that what may be seen as differences can also be seen as strengths, and that’s one fact that many kids would be Graced to learn.

Good Points
Fun new powers to fantasize about.
Medieval realness - Sometimes you need a good kingdom or kingdoms in turmoil.
Uncommon female protagonist whose aggressiveness is refreshing.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Enjoyable

Here's your disclosure: I read this book in February. It is now August. Do the math.

I really liked Katsa and I REALLY liked Po. They were both interesting characters and just...lovely. Even if Katsa does have to kill and torture people. I mean...it wasn't her choice.

The story was really interesting and definitely took some turns I didn't expect. Especially towards the end? Like...total shock to me, some of what happens. I loved reading it and getting totally stumped about what would happen next.

And there is romance of the awesome variety. I really, really loved how their story ended in this book. It was different and wonderful and just...yes. All the yes. *hugs romance*

Graceling is well written, well developed, and has some epic things going on between the covers. While I didn't fall head-over-heels super-in-love like most people seem to, I did really enjoy Graceling and fully intend to read Fire and maybe read Bitterblue if I can ever get my hands on it.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: July 19, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Not for me

Kristin Cashore’s Graceling was definitely a read with a very formulaic storyline but with some atypical characters. While there are elements that I truly enjoyed, I thought the storyline was fairly predictable and the adventure didn’t give enough time for the characters to truly grow as I feel the point of most adventure books should be. The main character Katsa, was interesting as a lead but could have been explored further. The premise could have also been probed a little more thoroughly.

There were a few characters, as I mentioned above, who stood out, like the main character Katsa and her companion Po. I liked that the author chose a truly independent and strong female character as the lead. I think it’s always empowering as a female to read about such individuals. So, seeing how she broke away from the typical female lead was refreshing. Her relationship with Po was also something I enjoyed. They questioned a lot of the typical male-female roles of that time period which are still valid today. For example, the idea of marriage and kids and everything they represented. I definitely admired Katsa’s individuality and her strong sense of will.

The premise of the story was something that definitely appealed to me as a reader who doesn’t read a lot of fantasy, but the delivery of the idea left something to be desired. Essentially, it was about a female who lived in this world where something called a “grace” existed. I wish this idea would have been explored a little more because it had the potential to create a very different world with problems and ideas that could still be relevant today. There were no shocking finales or plot twists that were strong enough to keep me interested which is something I definitely look for when reading fantasy. The heroine had a task that was to be carried out and she did.

Now, talking about the writing, it was something I was happy with. In all its simplicity, it was generally very descriptive and overall the details were vivid. The dialogue was, similarly, expressive and for that reason, I enjoyed reading the various conversations between the characters.

Overall, this book was not one of my favorites. That was not to say that it was terrible in any way. There were some interesting elements that could have been explored and I felt the author didn’t take advantage of its full potential. I would have loved to learn more about the Kingdoms and their history with each other and how they all connected back to our main characters. I liked the main character because of her sense of independence at a time when freedom was not celebrated for women. However, I have to admit, Katsa’s character and her relationship with Po were the only things that kept me reading.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Beautiful fantasy story, I just wish I liked Katsa more

I can see why Graceling is so well-loved by so many people. The writing is fantastic, and the world-building exquisite. I love the idea of this fantasy world where certain people have what essentially amounts to mutant powers. The notion of the different-colored eyes marking the Graced is great, as is the exploration of how the inhabitants of the different kingdoms view the Graced. In one kingdom, the Graced are honored, where in another, they are shamed. It’s a very subtle look at prejudices and stereotypes woven throughout the plot, and how those perceptions impact an individual’s self-image, and I thought it was very well done.

The plot was also lovely. I enjoyed the action, and although I’ve read several reviews that thought the pacing was slow and the length ponderous, I thought it moved rather quickly. Maybe that’s because most of the fantasy I read is adult. This book was certainly longer than a lot of YA fare, but I thought the length was justified by the story.

Po was a fantastic character. I liked him immediately. I loved that he was nuanced and flawed, and I was surprised along with Katsa when new facts were revealed about him. There are certain parts of the book where Po is not present, and while they are extremely exciting and tense, I was still slightly distracted wishing Po was there. It’s always fun when a book makes me actually miss a character when he’s not around.

I also loved the character of Princess Bitterblue, who is the focal point of one of the companion novels. While she was a child, I admired her attitude and spunk, and I enjoyed reading about her.

I did have a few issues with the book, and these were just matters of preference, not of the storytelling or the writing. I was not a huge fan of Katsa. I understood why she was the way she was, and I definitely acknowledge that she is a far cry from many of the helpless damsels in distress that are abundant in YA literature. However, her extremely guarded and untrusting nature didn’t make her a character I really enjoyed reading about. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the story that she was involved in, I just didn’t really enjoy her. And although she does exhibit some growth during the course of the book, it wasn’t enough to make me really like her by the end.

I also was a bit let down by the climax of the book (which actually occurs several chapters before the ending). It seemed kind of lacking after so much build-up. Now, I’m not entirely sure how it could have been done better or differently; I just know that after I finished reading it, my thought was, “Oh, that was it?”

However, as an overall story, Graceling excelled. And considering neither of the companion novels focus on Katsa, I’m extremely interested in reading more about this beautiful fantasy world and the amazing characters that populate it.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Best of the Seven Kingdoms

I loved this book the most because I think that it was not as boring as Bitterblue (more action) and Fire was a bit to off the topic of Graceling, and it was also very wrong with Archer. Now he was a weirdo.

I think Katsa's grace was a an awesome one. I love how the author made everyone think that she was graced with killing, and that she was a tough chick who cannot be broken. She was not though, Po got to her, and her shield dropped slowly. The grace of survival is probably one of the best things you can be graced with, as it includes killing, but only when time needs be. She also can survive the most extreme conditions in the world, which is pretty wicked. Katsa was a kick-ass character and she was a powerful women who did not think like posh women who cannot get their hands dirty. She is a lady that proves that they can be better than men, as we are.

I thought Po was overreacting near the end of the book, why would he think that Katsa would not love him anymore because he was blind (sorta). I think his brain must of been joggled around when his eyes failed on him, as he was not thinking straight at all. But other than that, I thought Po was an awesome character, who always thinks before he acts. This is one of the best traits to have, but sometimes he thinks to hard and sees everything the wrong way.

The plot was pretty good, and Leck was a great villain. He was such a good villain as no one realised that he was. No one rebelled against his rule because they were all fooled by his grace. The only one who really did was Katsa, and I thought that was perfect, as she did not join another group, and this made her even more important than what she was before.

I thought that this book was perfect, and I think this was the best of the Seven Kingdoms books. I think everyone should read this if they want to experience reading at its best.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

I think this was the best of the Seven Kingdoms books

I loved this book the most because I think that it was not as boring as Bitterblue (more action) and Fire was a bit to off the topic of Graceling, and it was also very wrong with Archer. Now he was a weirdo.

I think Katsa's grace was a an awesome one. I love how the author made everyone think that she was graced with killing, and that she was a tough chick who cannot be broken. She was not though, Po got to her, and her shield dropped slowly. The grace of survival is probably one of the best things you can be graced with, as it includes killing, but only when time needs be. She also can survive the most extreme conditions in the world, which is pretty wicked. Katsa was a kick-ass character and she was a powerful women who did not think like posh women who cannot get their hands dirty. She is a lady that proves that they can be better than men, as we are.

I thought Po was overreacting near the end of the book, why would he think that Katsa would not love him anymore because he was blind (sorta). I think his brain must of been joggled around when his eyes failed on him, as he was not thinking straight at all. But other than that, I thought Po was an awesome character, who always thinks before he acts. This is one of the best traits to have, but sometimes he thinks to hard and sees everything the wrong way.

The plot was pretty good, and Leck was a great villain. He was such a good villain as no one realised that he was. No one rebelled against his rule because they were all fooled by his grace. The only one who really did was Katsa, and I thought that was perfect, as she did not join another group, and this made her even more important than what she was before.

I thought that this book was perfect, and I think this was the best of the Seven Kingdoms books. I think everyone should read this if they want to experience reading at its best.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Graceling

I read both Graceling and Fire, but I really think that Graceling was the better of the two.

I love all the characters. Katsa is an really great protagonist. She's so strong, independent and she hates being feminine, which I think is pretty great. I really like the survival Grace... sigh, I wish I had that Grace, it would be so cool, except for he reputation that she gets. I think its pretty funny how she is so good at fighting and working things out alert, and yet she has no clue about how love works.

I reckon that some people might find Katsa's anti-feminine thing and how she really has no plans of getting married or having children a little offensive or just weird, but I really liked it.

The book begins with Katsa, with her two companions, rescuing "Grandfather". Here we start getting a little taste of Katsa's extraordinary fighting skills. She successfully knocks out all of the guards, rescues Grandfather, and gets out of there without any catch. Almost. On the way out, she meets a mysterious Lienid stranger (Lienid is the where Grandfather comes from). He says he trusts her, but she is not so sure. She knocks him out anyway, because you can never be too sure.

But... back at her home, suddenly a mysterious stranger, a prince called Po, turns up. Katsa finally finds someone who's fighting skills rivals her own. And when she discovers that it is the same man she met on her first mission. Questions begin to arise in Katsa's mind. Why hasn't this man reported her? Why would someone kidnap Grandfather, an old man? How does it all connect? As Katsa begins to delve deeper into this mystery, she discovers things she would have never considered...

I won't tell you anymore, since I wouldn't want to spoil the book.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: September 29, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

-

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

This book cost me so much sleep!

Christopher Hsu
Mrs. Poulsen
English 10B
March 12, 2012
Graceling Book Review
The perfect blend between mystery, romance , and supernatural powers can be found in the novel Graceling by Kristen Cashore. The mind-blowing book’s plot revolves around a Graced fighter Katsa, as well as another Graced fighter, Po. Gracelings, they are called, for they possess a Grace, or a special prowess at something. Because of a mysterious kidnapping of a harmless old man in which motives are unknown, the two fighters from different countries unite to find the truth about the causes of this kidnapping. Along with mystery, their growing affection for each other contributes to a variety of character changes of traits throughout their journey. The conversations between people in this book are fairly realistic, incorporating real life human thought processes behind the words. As the book progresses and the two grow more and more affectionate about each other, one can sense the hints of love and playfulness in between the once plain mysterious conversations. The change of traits in characters makes it even more realistic and appealing to the reader. It makes it that much more compelling. The fact that the author gives hints and little foreshadows about what is going to happen allows the reader to want to keep on reading. Another effect of foreshadowing is that it gives the reader some space for imagination, it allows them to guess what is going to happen and compare it with the actual outcome of the book. As one reads, the puzzle begins to piece together which gives a fulfilling feeling when reading. Another factor providing appeal are the humorous details hidden in the dialogue which adds seasoning to the highly suspenseful and romantic conversations. No book would be perfect without a certain amount of humor in it. One interesting part about this book that separates it from the others is that it states something insignificant about a person, but turns out to be one of the most important characteristics of the character, thus adding even more character arc which makes them more real. One last thing that I loved was that the descriptions of scenery in this book really appeals to the senses, the author does a great job painting the picture in your mind. She uses precise descriptions to make the book three dimensional. Considering all of these aspects, I give this book five stars. Personally, I think this novel attended to all of my desires in a book. The magical ratio of romance, mystery, and the supernatural was what compelled me the most. I would recommend this to teenagers like me and people interested in this genre of novels.

Was this review helpful to you? 
38 results - showing 1 - 10  
1 2 3 4  
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drum Roll, Please
Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everless (Everless #1)
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lifeline
Popular high school senior Eli Ross has the perfect life....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Would you risk it all for love? A high-ranking official’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kristen McDonald has dreamed of being crowned prom queen for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jackson and Samantha live modestly in a small apartment in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Devils Unto Dust
Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits about...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Traitor's Game
Jennifer A. Nielsen introduces us to an unforgettable new heroine...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
BetterThanThis_500.jpg
What can keep a dream alive? ...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Poet X
Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Zenith: The Androma Saga
Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hall Monitors Are Fired!
Pick a book. Grow a Reader! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Miles Away From You
It's been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Eye of Midnight
 
5.0
"Straitlaced Maxine and the impish Will come together in this nostalgic action adventure that will appeal to parents and children..."
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
 
4.5
"Reading FLORA AND ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo was an absolute joy. Children’s books are usually full of everything that’s normally..."
Jane, the Fox & Me
 
5.0
"This was not at all what I expected. I discovered a story about self-esteem, and bullying, and cruelty...."
The Boy on the Porch
 
4.0
"The Boy on the Porch is a beautiful story about family and love. It feels like a fable in the..."
Red Shirt Kids
 
5.0
"Your upper grade school child will be totally enthralled while reading this magical, mystery adventure novel! Not only will they..."
Mermin
 
3.5
"This was certainly meant for younger readers! It had a cutesy feel to it, but it was still fun to..."
Heart of Stone (Verity Gallant Tales)
 
5.0
"This is the epitome of middle grade fantasy, if you ask me. Set in the most perfect seaside, cliff-dotted town,..."
Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year in Stuff
 
4.0
"On a whim, I checked out MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF from the school library. It disappeared from my..."
Laugh with the Moon
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver's world has been turned upside down: her mother recently passed away and her father moved them to..."
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda #1)
 
5.0
"Holy Han Solo, I can’t believe I missed Star Wars Reads Day! In belated honor of the day, I checked..."
Big Splash! (The Grunt and the Grouch)
 
5.0
"This is just the kind of book kids love. Two trolls, Grunty and Grouchy, live together in the most disgusting..."
The Princess Trap
 
3.0
"It’s been a year since Princess Jenna learned that she was royalty and had her world turned upside down. Unfortunately,..."
The Secret Tree
 
5.0
"Yup, I judged a book by it's cover. Not badly, mind you, but I wanted to read this book strictly..."
Oddfellow's Orphanage
 
4.5
"ODDFELLOW'S ORPHANAGE is a charming, magical little book with the same kind of lyrical, otherworldly quality as the Series of..."
Mason Dixon: Fourth-Grade Disasters
 
3.0
"Mason is leery of starting fourth grade-- not only does it mean being away from Dog, whom he has come..."
Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week
 
5.0
"Jasper John Dooley can't wait to be the Star of the Week at school. He gets to star in a..."
School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough? (Dear Dumb Diary #13)
 
4.0
"Jamie Kelly might be my middle school alter ego, and not just because of our last names. She hates math,..."
Vive Le Paris
 
5.0
"Esme Raji Codell's writing makes you feel good. She has the ear of a teacher who has sat in the..."
Nerd Camp (Nerd Camp #1)
 
5.0
"There's never been a better time to be a nerd. Computer geeks run the world, math rock is a thing,..."
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda #1)
 
5.0
"Put down whatever you're reading and pick up THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA, the most delightful middle grade novel..."