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Graceling Paperback – 22 Jan 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 213 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (22 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575084502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575084506
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 964,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Cashore's prose is smooth and unobtrusive. But for all its lightness of tone, Graceling is not a simple novel. indeed it deals with some very difficult subject matter. Its inevitable love story is sweetly unconventional and unabashedly feminist. Katsa herself is a rich character. The growth of her trust and self-esteem is the understated heart of the novel. This is always Katsa's story and enjoyable fast paced it is too. An immensely fun, good-hearted read. (Nic Clarke SFX)

[Thi] exquisitely drawn romance . . . will slake the thirst of Twilight fans, but one measure of this novel¿s achievements lies in its broad appeal. Tamora Pierce fans will embrace the take-charge heroine . . . and while adult readers will enjoy the author¿s originality, the writing is perfectly pitched at teens struggling to put their own talents to good use. With this riveting debut, Cashore has set the bar exceedingly high. (Publisher's Weekly)

Cashore creates believable characters with enough depth, subtlety, and experience to satisfy older readers . . . An impressive first novel (Booklist)

An assured fantasy debut.... Katsa is an ideal adolescent heroine, simultaneously confident of her strengths yet unsure of her place in the world. Every character is crafted with the same meticulous devotion to human comprehensibility.... In a tale filled with graphic violence and subtle heartbreak, gentle passion and savage kindness, matter-of-fact heroics and bleak beauty, no defeat is ever total and no triumph comes without cost. Grace-full, in every sense (Kirkus)

The story flows at a decent pace with a story that gradually builds in intensity and a mystery that unravels at just the right speed to keep things interesting. Cashore knows what makes a good spectacle and, even though you know that Katsa absolutely has to win through, writes set piece scenes that buzz with excitement and action. (GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)

For a debut novel, Graceling is well-written, nicely-structured and easy to read. The characters are well-drawn and the storyline intriguing enough to draw the reader along at a good speed. The notion of Graces, although not hugely original, is nonetheless explored in-depth throughout the book with some nice, logical extrapolations of the abilities on show. (THE WERTZONE)

A major strength of the writing is the imagery presented throughout the novel. The book is filled with very vivid descriptions of almost everything from castles, landscapes, courts, and the journeys that the characters go on. Kristin Cashore's ¿Graceling¿ is a great start by a developing writer and I definitely look forward to seeing this writer grow with future novels as she shows tremendous potential. (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)

It¿s a great debut novel that will suit those who like their Fantasy unabashedly romantic. (SFF WORLD.COM)

Graceling really does have something to offer everyone. An adventurous and enjoyable read. (DEATHRAY)

Book Description

Sometimes nothing but a Grace can save you

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In Kristin Cashore's début, a Graceling is a person with a preternatural power of sorts. Some Graces allow great skill at fighting, or mind-reading, or anything else that might be useful in a fantasy novel.

Katsa has a very special Grace, one that's very useful, but not one that she wants: the Grace of Killing. She's the niece King Randa of the Middluns, and was noticed from a very early age; the king now uses her to enforce his rule across the land: she is his assassin, his best soldier, and is known throughout the kingdom for her ferocity and blood-lust.

Those few who see beyond her differently coloured eyes, and her forced shows of violence, know she is not like that. She hates what she has to do, and with a few highly-placed friends -- the Prince, for one -- has established a secret Council that spans many lands, dedicated to the protection of the people.

One kingdom needs no help, though: that of King Leck, the only peace-loving king in the land. Except, the father of Leck's wife has gone missing, presumed kidnapped -- he's also the father of the King of Lienid, and if something isn't done soon, there could be war... Throw into the mix a man with a Grace that makes him unstoppable or killable, and you have a situation...

And a good début.

The editor who acquired it is in fact the same editor who acquired Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss for Gollancz, both excellent authors, though different in tone from Cashore. In line with the United States marketing of this book as a Young Adult, while there is violence in Graceling it's not too gritty and there's no swearing.
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Format: Paperback
Kristin Cashore's debut novel is, quite simply, astounding. It is a far cry from the weak, passive `heroines' that have recently been giving YA literature a bad name; the characters of Graceling spring to life, inviting--no, demanding--that the reader join their world, a place filled with vibrancy and life. From the first page to the last, Cashore's strong writing allows the reader to not only see her fantastical world through her imagination, but through their own: the strongly-defined world of the novel becomes almost as dear and familiar to the reader as something they themselves might have created.

Katsa, the protagonist of Graceling, is not merely a strong role-model for young-adult readers, but for any reader. She is not meek and easily controlled--though the theme of control does have a huge standing within the novel--but rather a young woman who is able to take her own destiny into her hands and mould it, shape it into something better for herself. Her reactions to the situations she finds herself in are believable and provoke empathy in the reader, something which I have been sorely unable to gather for much of the characters in the YA literature currently on the market. She is not, as so many characters seem to currently be, defined solely by her relationships; she loves with reason, and yet, simultaneously, without, for there can truly be no logic in love.

Graceling is largely character-driven, but that does not suggest that there is no plot, or that the plot to be found is below average. Indeed, I found myself unable to put this book down; I as much devoured this novel as simply read it.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Graceling is a fantasy novel with a touch of romance.

It's pretty much a self contained story, but allows room for more tales in the world where it is set.

It runs for three hundred and seventy pages. It's divided into three parts. And further into thirty nine chapters plus an epilogue.

There's a map of the setting at the start.

It's pretty much suitable for readers of all ages. There's some mild violence but nothing more.

The land in which this takes place is called the Seven Kingdoms. Seven realms all with monarchs. And many people with graces. These are special abilities that they have. Just one for each person who is graced. You can tell they have a grace thanks to their unusual eyes. You could have one that makes you good at swimming, or cooking, or sewing, or many of the other little things of life.

Such as killing.

Which is what Katsa, our main character, is very skilled at.

Having discovered that skill from an early age has set her apart from most. She exists in service to her monarch and has to carry out his orders. Which put her skill to good use.

She has far more skills at killing than she does with socialising, thus she's not really good with people, and has no idea how to be like that.

All of which changes when, whilst hunting for a kidnapped royal, she meets a man who is just as good at fighting as she is. And she decides she's done with things.

But at the same time, a great evil is slowly taking hold.

Good fantasy really needs to be strongly character based first and foremost. You can create great settings, but if your reader doesn't care about the characters, then they won't be involved. This manages to do all that by focusing on Katsa from the off.
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