Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on August 10, 2015 | 5 Comments

Review: Graceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin (10.1.2008)
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 471 pages
Source: I own it

3 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...

My thoughts

I have been putting this book of for ages! And with everyone raving about it, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. Thankfully I didn’t dislike it, but I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. The pacing was terribly slow, and there wasn’t much happening AT ALL. Throughout the entire story. I felt like nothing really happened.

While I did kind of love Po (even though his name is pretty lame), I didn’t connect to the characters very well. Katsa was a badass but she was a little inhuman, which made it hard for me to relate to her. She pretty much didn’t feel pain. She was also very bull-headed at times, to the point that I wanted to slap her. I like that she stuck to her beliefs, though!

I do have to say that I absolutely loved the concept of Graces! It was pretty awesome that having heterochromia meant that you had a superhuman ability. Sweeeeet.

Overall it was a good story, but underwhelming compared to the hype. (The Hype Monster strikes again…) While I can see why everyone loves it, I was expecting much more from this story. I will definitely read the companion novel and the sequel eventually, though!

Favorite quotes

“It would look stunning, My Lady,” she called, “with your dark hair and your eyes.”
“If there’s anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I’ll hit him in the face.”

“Katsa,” he said, “Listen to me. You’re the most powerful person I’ve ever met. You can do whatever you want, whatever you want in the world. No one can make you do anything, and your uncle can’t touch you. The instant you walk into his presence, you have all the power. If you wish not to hurt him, Katsa, then you have only to choose not to.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

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5 responses to “Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

  1. I put this one back on my shelf — I’ll finish it one of these days, but now just isn’t the time. Underwhelmed perfectly describes it. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying it, but I just wasn’t loving it as much as I had hoped.

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