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. Anonymous1:10 PM

    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

You Might Also Like

Angie's Best Books of 2022

  Somehow the end of the year is here. And we're all here. And I still feel like placing this post in this space. So I shall. With gratitude and a certain wistful hope. For us all. But especially for these books, the people that walk them, their words, and their creators. (listed in the order in which I read them) Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian You Were Made to Be Mine by Julie Anne Long Impossible by Sarah Lotz Book Lovers by Emily Henry Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher The Bodyguard by Katherine Center The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary Fire Season by K.D. Casey Husband Material by Alexis Hall Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood Lore Olympus, Vol. 3 by Rachel Smythe Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vol. 6 by Beth Brower Daniel Cabot Puts Down Roots by Cat Sebastian Scattered Showers

Angie's 2023 Must Be Mine

  Begin as you mean to go on, they say. And so here are my most anticipated titles of 2023: And no covers on these yet, but I'm looking forward to them every bit as much: The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vol. 7 by Beth Brower Knockout by Sarah MacLean Ten Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian Diamond Ring by K.D. Casey The Gentleman's Gambit by Evie Dunmore What titles are on your list?

Bibliocrack Review | The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

 Hi. Hey. Hello there. It's been a . . . well, you know what it's been. We're all still living this together. So I will simply skip to the fact that I couldn't not review this book here. Because reading it was something special. I knew nothing about Ali Hazelwood 's debut novel except that it involved women in STEM and that the cover made me smile. I decided to set it aside for myself as a reward. Work has been . . . punishing . . . for the last year, and I have been so exhausted every hour of every day. And so I determined to buy The Love Hypothesis  on release day knowing nothing about it. But when I went to the bookstore to get my copy, none were available. In fact, none were available anywhere for love nor money, in store or online. At first I was moderately disappointed. Then I told myself maybe it's not that great after all and I didn't necessarily need to feel this preemptive sense of loss. But it kept gnawing at me. The loss. And so I paused work an