Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)
     by: Kristin Cashore

Publication Date: Oct. 1, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt
Genre: High Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 471 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...
After reading Fire a month or so ago, I couldn't wait to dive back into the world Cashore has created. I was excited to see how the two novels connected with one another and now I am looking forward to reading Bitterblue to see how it all ends.
I really liked Katsa and Po. Their romance could be a bit infuriating because of how open it was, but I don't doubt for a moment that these two love one another. Katsa has sworn never to marry as she is afraid of losing the one thing that matters most to her in the world: her freedom. Having been forced to act as her uncle's killing machine, she never wants to be bound to another- even someone like Po, who would never try and keep her from living her life like she wanted. My heart ached for Katsa, because it wasn't an easy decision, especially since she has such strong feelings for Po. It was hard to see her head and her heart at odds, but I am glad she decided to give herself to him in a lovers capacity and let herself enjoy her time with him.
Katsa is one badass heroine. I love how resilient and selfless she is. She embarks on a journey with Po to find out more about his grandfather's kidnapping and who is behind it. Along the way, Katsa ends up meeting and taking charge of Bitterblue, Po's cousin, who is in some serious trouble. I admit, I was a bit confused reading the prologue of Fire, as I had no idea who Cashore was referencing, but it was pure genius on her part. Whether you read Fire or Graceling first, it's very clear that Cashore has created a psychotic villain who is beyond disturbed. I have been told Bitterblue will detail the aftermath of this individual's destruction and I am interested in seeing how that will play out in the future.
I love a good romantic hero. Po is one of those good guys I love so much and his easygoing, flirtatious manner really made me fall for him. He just always made me smile and I really loved seeing him with Katsa. She's a stubborn one for sure and she does not make it easy for him, but he knows she's worth the challenge.
I am so glad I finally got around to reading this series because I'm really enjoying it. The worldbuilding is done really well and I enjoyed flipping back and forth to reference my map. I never felt confused as to who ruled where and was related to who, so Cashore also did a great job of keeping things clear and relatively uncomplicated.  I definitely recommend this series for other high fantasy fans.

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  1. I loved Graceling so much! Katsa is awesome and I adored Po! I have to make time to read Bitterblue soon! Cannot wait to see her all grown up. Great review!

    1. I am excited too! I know alot of people said it wasn't their favorite of the series, but I'm looking forward to it!

  2. I'm in love with the Graceling books. I liked FIre more than Graceling, but Graceling is amazing too. The plot is great and I love Po so much!

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    1. I think I liked Fire more too. I really enjoyed them both, but there's something about Fire and Brigan that I just adored.

  3. I love love LOVE this book. I actually own a copy of it...a hardcover, no less! I'm so glad you liked it, Jessica! I have yet to read the rest of the series. I hope you love it <3
    Jackie @ No Bent Spines

    1. YAY! Oh Jackie! I'm so excited for you to read Fire! I hope you like it as much as I did!

  4. GRACELING YAAAAAYYY! My second favorite book of all time! Fire comes first ;) Also Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. Gah! I'm so glad you loved this one, Jess! <3

    Fabulous review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I think I'm going to have to agree with you too girl. I loved Fire. This was great too, but Fire just holds a special place for me. I need to check out Brightly Woven!

  5. I remember really enjoying this book and liking the romance too, Jess! I need to read the rest of the series because all the books sound so amazing.
    I'm happy you had such good luck with it too!
    Great review!

    1. Oh yes! Definitely read Fire Nick! I really loved that one too! This is a great series. I want more books by her.

  6. I love me some badass heroines! I know I need to read this one and I plan to, hopefully soon! It's just sitting there on my shelf waiting to be read. It just sounds so good!

    Wonderful review!

    1. Same here! They are the best kind of heroines! I hope you get to this one soon Magen!

  7. Reading your review makes me miss Po. I LOVED Katsa and Po's relationship. They are such a shippable couple and I love how well they work together. I also love that Po never gave up on Katsa and in the end, their relationship came out stronger.

    I am SO glad you're enjoying this series, Jessica! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    1. YES. I loved that about Po! Even when Katsa was pushing him away and struggling over his decision to be with him, he was there and even after what we learned about him in the end. They made me happy!

  8. Awesome review love. I tried to read this a few months ago but I wasn't in the mood for Fantasy at the time so set it aside but I'm excited to pick it up again and give it another shot!


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