Graceling (Seven Kingdoms Trilogy #1)

Hot
 
3.7 (3)
 
4.0 (38)
7420 7

User reviews

23 reviews with 5 stars
38 reviews
 
61%
 
24%
 
11%
 
5%
1 star
 
0%
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.5(38)
Characters
 
3.8(14)
Writing Style
 
3.9(14)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Back to Listing
23 results - showing 1 - 10
1 2 3
Ordering
Beautiful fantasy story, I just wish I liked Katsa more
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Best of the Seven Kingdoms
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
I think this was the best of the Seven Kingdoms books
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Graceling
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
(Updated: September 29, 2012)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
-
HS
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
This book cost me so much sleep!
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Cheezyfeet

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despise: the Grace of killing. 
Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa's life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid's father is kidnapped she investigates and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own? 
The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out - but little does she realise, when she takes is, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one eyed king...  - From the back of the book.

I read Graceling because it was recommended to me by a friend. It had always been on my 'To Buy' list, but every time I went book shopping, I picked it up, and put it back again. I don't know why that was, it just was. And, now, having read it, I'm very glad that said friend recommended it.
Katsa is a very strong female lead, in more ways than one. She's feisty, and she stands up for herself. She has a Grace for killing, and she hates it. She's being used by the king to do his dirty work, and she hates it. So, after being sent on a mission to force a lord to sell one of his daughters off for marriage, she refuses. She leaves him unharmed, and the king is furious. But Katsa has never felt better.
Cashore is an amazing writer. She describes things beautifully, so you get a very vivid picture in your head of what is happening, where and when, and the whole book just plays like a movie inside your head. The author also writes emotion extremely well, and all the characters emotions rub off on the reader, and you can't help but feel happy when they're happy, and angry when they are too.
Po, Katsa's love interest, is calming and charming. He calms down Katsa, therefore calming the reader, and, though Katsa can rescue herself physically, she still needs a man to rescue her emotionally, and Po is that man. He really helped Katsa to grow as a character, and by the end of the book, because of Po, I much preferred Katsa as a character. She was more relaxed and calm, and she was happy.
There is a lot that happens in this book. There is adventure, mystery, a little romance, betrayal, intrigue, and loads more, packed into 370 pages. It's fast paced, and you can't stop reading. You just get lost in the world of The Seven Kingdoms, and it's difficult to leave. There is so much culture connected to the world Katsa and Po live in, that it feels like a place you could actually visit, it feels so real.
I would definitely recommend Graceling, especially for people looking for something a little different. Unlike all the popular books going round at the moment, it doesn't have vampires, or werewolves, or fearies, or any other mythical creature that there may be out there. Graceling is unique, and will be loved by everyone, teens and adults alike.

(Also printed aa my blog, www.cheezyfeetbooks.blogspot.com , reprinted here with the author's permission.)
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
unique
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by jedi145

This book is amazing! The backstory of all the kingdoms was well thought out. The idea of the graces was interesting.  The characters were excellent and very rounded. The writing style was different but good. There were a few slow parts but over all the plot kept a good pace.  It was really nice to find a fantasy buried in all the vampire and other paranormal romances.  The romantic relationship took time to build and evolve which was nice, it wasn't an instant, destiny love.  It was nice to read something that took place in a different world away from the cliche of the hot new mysterious boy at school.  I have the companion/prequel, Fire, on my shelf , TBR and can't wait for Bitterblue. 
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Easy to Fall in Love With
(Updated: September 13, 2011)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Ruthie

This book was so different, so new it was hard not to fall in love with it. At first when reading I wasn't expecting to like it. The style was different to what I was used to and the reading wasn't as flowy as my recent reads. However the more I read the better I liked it. The adventure started from the first page and ended on the last. There were unexpected additions to the overall plot (especially the ending) and this book left me wanting more. I'm determined to continue with the sister book Fire.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Graceling - Owes me hours of lost sleep!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Okapi

This addicting novel ate both my homework and three hours of sleeping time. This vivid novel will always remain prominent in my mind; Graceling will never melt into the blur of YA fantasy. It is the type of book that I will be quite sorry to return to the library; I have the strong desire to place it on the prized section of my bookshelf. With a flawed yet likeable ensemble of characters, a fast-paced plot, and an original concept, Graceling is one of the top five YA novels of the year. The actual idea of Gracelings is amazing; it made me jealous that I didn't think of it first. Gracelings are gifted with a supernatural power at birth, and the sign of this power is shown by eyes of two different colors. The Graces that Gracelings can be born with can be as useless as the ability to rotate one's entire torso, or as powerful as the ability to read minds. 

The characters are one of the strongest aspects of this book. Eighteen-year-old Katsa, the main character, is a fierce heroine who defies all weak women stereotypes. It's quite refreshing to have a female protagonist who can protect herself and those around her, opposed those stereotypical, helpless women who never engage in a battle. Katsa's character develops beautifully, and her mental journey is centered on her humanization and finding the ability to cope with love. In the early pages of the novel, Katsa reflects upon herself: 

"She knew her nature. She would recognize it if she came face-to-face with it. It would be a blue-eyed, green-eyed monster, wolflike and snarling. A vicious beast that struck out at friends in uncontrollable anger, a killer that offered itself as a vessel of the king's fury." - page 137 

Then we have Prince Po, who is a superb character. The only personal problem I have with him is his name - Whenever I read "Po", two other people jump into my head: Po from Kung Fu Panda, which is sort of fitting since both characters are gifted in marshal art skills, and the more dissimilar one, Po from Teletubbies*. Besides that miniscule and forgivable downfall, the author executes the romance between Katsa and Po fantastically by letting their relationship develop naturally, not at all like the annoyingly unrealistic sudden-true-love-within-twenty-four-hours romance scenarios in Twilight. 

Another aspect I like about this book is the villain. The author counters Katsa's powerful ability to kill anybody she desires by gifting the villain with an equally powerful skill, causing the plot to take many extremely interesting turns. Surprising us with unsuspected movements of the storyline, this book is not as predictable as it may seem. 

Though simple and clean, in some places, Cashore's writing bothers me. It is slightly choppy, and I would not agree with the praise on the book's back that describes her writing as "elegant, evocative prose". Fortunatly, the dazzling plot and characters outshine her mediocre writing. On the contrary, I noticed that Cashore manages to make her description, which is often the more boring part of a book, very exciting to read, sometimes by integrating it with the action. For example: 

"She couldn't believe the coldness of this passageway over the mountains. She couldn't believe wind couldblow so hard and so insistently, without ever easing. Every breath of this air was a blade gouging into her lungs. Her arms, her legs, her torso, especially her hands - every part of her that was not covered with fur burned with cold, as if she had thrown herself into a fire." - page 352 

Cashore describes the freezing conditions while still engaging my attention, which is part of the reason why this book is such an addicting read! 

In conclusion, this novel is a rich, well-blended medley of action-packed battles, violence, mystery, suspense, romance, heroism, snappy dialogue, and superpowers. If you have not read Graceling, go get it from your library, or even better: buy it! After finishing this book, fans will ravish down its prequel, Fire, and eagerly await the release of Bitterblue. 

Cover Rating (US Hardcover): 4/5 - I love the sword in the background and the color scheme, and the eye reflected in the sword adds more essence. Especially after reading the book, I realize that the pretty cover is quite well done, capturing the book's charm. Though it captures the feel of this novel, I wish it was more distinguished. Something about the cover reminds me of other fantasy novels, and I probably wouldn't pick it up if I was in a bookstore. 
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
23 results - showing 1 - 10
1 2 3