May 7, 2011

Review : Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title : Graceling
Author : Kristin Cashore
Reading Dates : 10 Apr - 11 Apr 2011
The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy
  • Graceling
  • Fire
  • Bitterblue
From goodreads :
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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Book Review of Graceling.
As I said previously, I chose to read Fire prior to Graceling since it was set before Graceling. Did it make a difference ? Well, that depends. It didn’t make a difference to my enjoyment of the story but if you don’t like spoilers, then you should avoid reading Fire first. Other than that, I’d say it doesn’t make any difference which you read first.

Additionally reading the books back to back, I couldn’t help making comparisons between them. There are strong similarities between the plot lines and personality traits of characters in both books. Still, there were plenty of twists to keep me interested and the characters were just as likable as ever. As it is, I not only enjoyed Graceling, I’d say I liked Graceling more than Fire. When it comes to the storytelling, Graceling offers more in terms of plot and characterisation.

What I loved best about Graceling was the interaction between Po and Katsa. A huge chunk of the book is devoted to the 2 main characters relationship. We really get to see them getting to know each other, work out their differences and make all those adjustments that any relationship demands. Whether apart or together, their devotion to each other is obvious. More importantly, they make a rather formidable team.

The other thing I really liked was Po’s Grace. Not only his ability but the knowledge that he was still growing into it. I can’t help wondering at his limits and how he might use it in the future.

Definitely a series I’m looking forward to reading more of.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Definitely.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Yes.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Yes.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Any romance and fantasy readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Buy it.


  1. I read Graceling first just because I got my hands on first but I also ended up preferring it to Fire. Can't wait for Bitterblue!

  2. The only other problem I had was that I listened to the audiobook and I'm not sure if I recommend that. It was a full cast audio, so basically one reader for everything but the dialogue, and then a bunch of readers for the dialogue. And honestly, they were all pretty good. It took me a bit to get used to that kind of setup because I am so used to just one or possibly 2 readers. But I got used to it pretty quick.


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