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Updated on November 13, 2012

My Review Of Graceling

Wanting a good book to curl up with? Well, I can recommend a really good one. I loved this book so much I had to share! In fact it is quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years. I have been reading Young Adult paranormal fiction for a few years because quite frankly it is more mature than the stuff for adults. I am not a huge fan of gore, explicit sex scenes, and excessive swearing and with YA novels you get more story and character development because they can't resort to such cheap tricks. If you like Young Adult novels like Twilight or Blue Bloods then Graceling is sure to please. It kicks Twilight booty... HARD.

The story takes place in a magical world with seven kingdoms. Some exceptional people are born with an extreme skill called a Grace, signified by the fact that they have eyes of differing colors. Katsa (with blue/green eyes) is a Graceling born with a killing Grace and she is forced by her Uncle, the King of the Middluns Kingdom, to use her Grace to punish and torture his enemies. Despite this Katsa has created a secret counsel that uses its resources to fight injustices among the 7 kingdoms. On one of her missions for the counsel she rescues and elderly grandfather who has been kidnapped for reasons unknown. It is here she meets Prince Po, his grandson, who has the Grace of Combat skills and some amazing eyes... one silver and one gold.

In Po, Kasta has finally met her equal and she fights to gain control of her own destiny so she can accompany him on a mission to find out why any of the other kingdoms would kidnap an old man. Their journey reveals hidden secrets and perhaps that their own graces were not what they actually thought they were. It also reveals a Grace so powerful that it could destroy all seven kingdoms, not with swords and war, but with words.

It is a riveting novel that has you hooked after only a few pages and you become so emotionally entangled with these wonderful characters that you can't help but laugh and cry with them as they go on their amazing journey. It also does an incredible job of painting for us a whole new world... Nander, Wester, Middluns, Estill, Sunder, Monsea, and Lienid. Each kingdom is brought to life with such vivid detail you are ready to pack your bags and take an extended stay, if only to really see the gold and silver "Po" trees of Lienid yourself. I highly recommend this book!

Normal. She wasn't normal. A girl Graced with killing, a royal thug?



Katsa's Grace is that she is a gifted fighter, and, as such, she is virtually invincible. She is in the service of her tyrannical uncle, king of one of the seven kingdoms, and she is forced to torture people for infractions against him. She has secretly formed the Council, which acts in the service of justice and fairness for those who have been accused and abused. Readers meet her as she is rescuing the father of the Lienid king, who has been abducted. The reasons for his capture are part of a tightening plot that Katsa unravels and resolves, with the help of Prince Po, the captive's grandson. He has his own particular Grace, and he becomes Katsa's lover and partner in what becomes a mortally dangerous mission. Cashore's style is exemplary: while each detail helps to paint a picture, the description is always in the service of the story, always helping readers to a greater understanding of what is happening and why. This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled. - Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City


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I heard you could kill a man with the nail of your smallest finger...

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