Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

(Graceling Realm #1)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Gollancz
Publication: January 22, 2009
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:


In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.

Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa’s life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid’s father is kidnapped she investigates, and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own?

The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out – but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king…

Kristin Cashore - Graceling


“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”

High fantasy at its best!

This book is to be admired. And I definitely agree with everyone who says that the book is truly amazing. There are a lot of elements that make this book extra-ordinary.

Graceling is a story about the main character Lady Katsa of the Kingdom of Middlun. Graced with an unnatural gift that can easily kill anyone whenever she wants, she grew up under the influence of her uncle Randa, King of Middlun, who basically used her ability for his own interest. The book is set in a world where seven kingdoms exist– including Middlun and the story starts off when one of the leaders (the Grandfather) of the Kingdom Lienid was kidnapped. The incidence resulted to Katsa and her companions’ rescue involvement and investigation. She eventually met Prince Greening “Po” Grandemalion while rescuing the Grandfather and since then, they worked together to find the one responsible for the kidnapping. (Sorry for my lame attempt of summarizing the book. Lol)

Anyways, what I love about this book is the way it gives me the epic fantasy feels. You know when you’re reading a kind of book that just seems to take you to that certain world? This book does it!

The world building of this book is good, but I have to admit that I had a rough time at first because there were just too many names of persons and places. However, it was resolved as the chapters went by.

I especially love the characters here. Katsa and Po! Oh my goodness. I love this pair!


A Prince and a King’s niece? Why not? OTP! I found myself shipping them together all throughout the book. I actually love how they work together as a team. How they fight and train together– it was awesome and entertaining! And did I mention that Prince Po is such a swoon-worthy character? Bae! And when it comes to Katsa, well, I really adore her. She’s not difficult to like. Strong-willed, badass, and without angst. Definitely my type of heroine!

This book, however, has some flaws and one of them is the ending. Turns out it’s a bit hurried or something. And I was actually expecting a different ending especially for Po and Katsa. I was not so satisfied by that.

Another thing is the action scenes. I kind of expected extreme, heart-pounding action scenes but they were just mild ones and not so challenging in my opinion.

But as a whole, I really love this book. I love the characters, the setting, and the whole story itself. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially for those of you who love fantasy books such as The Grisha trilogy and Red Queen. 🙂

Rating: 4 Stars