Skip to main content

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

This one came with such glowing recommendations that I was delighted to see it sitting there on the shelf all shiny and mysterious and earlier than expected on my last trip to the bookstore. Seriously, it seemed to glow at me from within. It could have just been the flourescent light glancing off the cover but, either way, it was a pretty promising start to a great read by debut author Kristin Cashore.

Graceling is the story of a young woman named Katsa. Katsa's life is made difficult by the fact that she is a member of an unwelcome minority known as the Graced. The Graced possess certain enhanced natural abilites such as the ability to swim like a fish or sing like a bird and no two Gracelings have the same ability. These almost superhuman traits set them apart from the whole of society and they are viewed in a highly negative light. Unknown quantities. Not to be trusted. Too make it worse, Katsa has a killing Grace. She can dispatch bad guys like nobody's business. Trouble is she's in servitude to her uncle, a rather nasty bit of work who trots her out to do his dirty work anytime he feels one of his underlings isn't performing up to snuff. Katsa hates her Grace, despises her uncle, and lives in fear of losing her temper one day and unleashing an absolute massacre. 

Katsa is a steely young woman who has few friends and fewer joys in her life. Graceling follows her struggles to control her Grace, define its boundaries, and find purpose in a world that does not seem to want her in it. Kristin Cashore excels at the storytelling, wrapping her hardened heroine in a cloak of beautifully urgent language. She knows how to pace her plot and particularly how to end a chapter in just such a way so the reader is both satisfied and eager for more. No easy task, that. The climax of this book ran shivers down my spine and the choices the characters were forced to make both broke my heart and made me proud of them. If you are a fan of Tamora Pierce or Robin McKinley, this one is pretty much a guaranteed home run. Graceling is also the first in a trilogy, although it sounds like the second installment, Fire, is actually a prequel. 

Comments

  1. I have been looking for this book in my area, to no avail! Tamora Pierce AND Robin McKinley comparisons? *click*<--the sound of this book being added to my amazon shopping cart.

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Thea. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I'm looking forward to what Kristin Cashore does next in this world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh wow - you've made me excited about this book now! Will def look out for it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent. My work here is done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just read a review of Graceling on Fantasy Book Critic then came here and read yours. Between the two reviews, I'm convinced that I need this book.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, that was a very detailed review! Yeah, I'd say it's a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderfully written review, Angie. I saw this book reviewed on another blog several weeks ago and immediately decided I wanted to read it. Now you're review has me wanting to go to the bookstore and get it right now! A love novels that are centered on strong, young heroines.

    I know one shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but this cover sure is striking!

    ReplyDelete
  8. .... that should be your review and I love novels.

    *headdesk* ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol. One of those days, Christine? I'm having one myself. And the cover of Graceling is even more striking in person. I quite simply could not walk out of the bookstore without it. And Katsa was everything I hoped she would be.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:




 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?

Retro Friday Review: Goodbye Pink Pig by C.S. Adler

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my weekly post. You'll forgive me for indulging in what is essentially pure nostalgia this week and reviewing a book I hadn't thought of in years, but which had a profound impact on me as a young girl. I was remembering the school I attended in fifth grade the other night and mentally wandering the halls and rooms. I remembered the wonderful library it had and the kind librarian there who listened to me talk about how much I loved Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper and, smiling, led me over to wonderful, new authors such as Madeleine L'Engle. It was in this library that I was perusing one day when I came across Good-bye Pink Pigby C.S. Adler. I know. Can you be…

Update | Real Life

I felt like it might be worth writing a very brief real life update here. If just because it's occupied so much of my mental space recently. And, of course, because whatever is currently occupying large swaths of your mental space plays a not insignificant role in your reading life and which book you reach for at the end of any given day. So.

I have worked at the same job since four months after this blog began. Until a week ago, that is, when I packed up my bags and left to start a brand new job. I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around that bare fact. First and foremost, I am incredibly grateful and pleased to have this new job. It was time. In fact, all throughout my job search, that exquisite quote from the wonderful Mo Willems ran on repeat through my head,
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. The position I had served its purpose very well. It was what I and my family needed for that period in our lives. But at this new point in my life, it had b…