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Friday, February 27, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books (website)
Publication Year: 2008
ISBN: 015206396X
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I first heard about Graceling by Kristin Cashore when I was making a purchase on Amazon. It came up as a book that other people bought when they purchased the book I was getting. What grabbed my attention most was the book trailer. It captivated my attention (see link to it below). Graceling is set in a world where some people are ‘graced’ with special gifts. These people are marked by having two different colored eyes and their gift can be something inane like speaking backwards without knowing it or it can be more deadly like Katsa’s Grace, killing. Katsa is an orphan living in her uncle’s castle, he is the king of her land and uses her Grace as a way to instill terror in his people. Katsa was young when she discovered her Grace and has been raised to think that she is a monster for her ability. But Katsa has more depth than that. She is a strong willed heroine with a sense of honor. She defies her uncle when she can and when she meets another Graceling named Po she learns that she might not be the monster that she always thought she was.

This book is amazingly well written, especially when you consider that its a first novel. All too often first novels can be flawed and its obivious that the author is still learning. Well, if this is an an author that’s still learning, then I can’t wait to see what Cashore comes up with next. I was sucked into this novel from page 1 and lost all track of time while reading it. I blitzed through this story in a manner of days I just couldn’t put it down. It was filled with adventure and romance and mystery. It was a strong story and didn’t have to rely on cheap tricks like the overuse of sex or profanity to distract the reader or fill in pages. It also presents strong female and male characters that teens can really relate to. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the world that Cashore creates is very realistic. I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the next book by Cashore called Fire, a prequel (of sorts) to Graceling. According to Cashore’s blog it is set roughly 30 years before in the same world as Graceling and tells the story of one very intersting character that we met here. Fire is currently scheduled for release in October of this year and I will be counting down the days.

Watch the fabulous book trailer here:
Awards and nominations as grabbed from Kristing Cashore’s blog:
Shortlisted for the ALA’s William C. Morris Award.
A finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (the SFWA’s award for YA given concurrently with the Nebulas).
An Indies Choice Book Award finalist in the category of Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book.
A Cybils finalist in the category of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
On the 2009 Amelia Bloomer List (Recommended Feminist Literature for Birth through 18).

Read other reviews here:
Em’s Bookshelf
Magical Musings
Teen Book Review
YA Books Central
Yat-Yee Chong

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll link your review here.

Challenge Summary:
Book 18 for my 75 Book Challenge
Book 6 out of 12 for my Young Adult Challenge

One Response to “Graceling by Kristin Cashore”

  1. avisannschild

    Cashore has a great blog that I’ve been reading for a while now, but I still haven’t read Graceling. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!