Review Detail

4.0 38
Young Adult Fiction 7550
Graced with Imagination
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by mearley

There was a lot to like about Graceling. Kristin Cashore created an interesting fantasy world where some children are born with a Grace. Some graces are practical-you might be graced with cooking or sewing and be in high demand in the king's kitchen or tailor shop. Other graces are scary. Katsa is graced with killing; no target can escape her.

By her teenage years, Katsa grew to despise her grace and the way the king used her against his enemies. She and a few trusted friends formed the Council which carries out missions of mercy instead of killing. Through the course of one of these missions, Katsa meets Po, a prince who is also graced. His grace places him on level footing with Katsa, a situation she is unaccustomed to!

My disappointment in Graceling comes from the message Cashore seems to be sending about love and commitment. Katsa is determined to never marry, but decides that she and Po can become lovers until one of them decides it's not working out anymore. It is unfortunate that love and sex are treated as trivial choices and the consequences are so easily brushed aside. Because of this, I will have trouble recommending Graceling to my middle school students.

Reprinted here with author's permission.
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