- Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
- Format: Paperback | 471 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 33mm | 431g
- Publication date: 7 September 2009
- Publication City/Country: Boston
- ISBN 10: 0547258305
- ISBN 13: 9780547258300
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Illustrations note: maps
- Sales rank: 4,318
Kristin Cashore's best-selling, award-winning fantasy "Graceling" tells the story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa's is killing. As the king's niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace . . . and how to put it to good use. A thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure (and steamy romance!) that will resonate deeply with adolescents trying to find their way in the world. Awards: Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, winner of the SIBA Book Award/YA, Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2008 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Amazon.com's Best Books of 2008, 2008 Booklist Editors' Choice, Booklist's 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, 2009 Amelia Bloomer List, BCCB 2009 Blue Ribbon List Don't miss the sequel "Fire," also a New York Times bestseller and ALA Best Book for Young Adults, winner of the 2010 Cybil for YA Fantasy/Sci Fi and the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.
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KRISTIN CASHORE is a freelance educational writer who writes content for textbooks and teacher editions, as well as book reviews for "The Horn Book Guide" and other publications. Kristin received her master's degree in children's literature in 2003 from Simmons College, where she worked with Liza Ketchum and was named a Virginia Haviland Scholar. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
By Brenna Staats 13 Jun 2012
Fantasy books were my first love when it came to reading, and I grew up on stories bursting with mythology, knights, and princesses (my favourites were those that had characters who could be both a knight AND a princess). Nothing gets my heart pounding and the pages turning like a magical, adventurous fantasy novel!
I first heard of Graceling immediately after reading The Hunger Games a few years ago - I kept getting recommendations for it, but for whatever reason I didn't pick it up until recently. Waiting to read this book until now was one of the biggest mistakes in my reading history! I'm convinced that Kristin Cashore is a genius and this book is proof of that.
Reasons to Read:
1.A richly developed fantasy world:
This is a must for good fantasy books; I need to buy into the magical world and the best ones have a well-established world with its own rules and norms, but with enough similarities that we can relate to them. Plus, I like books that include MAPS of the fantasy worlds. That's pretty legit for me. And the names of places, things and people should be vaguely familiar but not so overdone that they come off as silly and fake. Graceling easily avoids any and all of these issues and stands as one of a few YA fantasy books that works so well!
2.Familiar problems & issues:
I don't think it's much of a secret that Graceling delves into some questions regarding the role of women within a society and the obstacles in their way as equal members of society. What may be surprising, however, is how WELL Kristin deals with this and successfully weaves it into the story. I wouldn't call it subtle, but it is oh-so poignant. Katsa is a bit of an anomoly in her world, where women are often mistreated and lack the means to protect themselves; but as she slowly begins to recognize how problematic this is and ultimately questions if she can do anything about it. It's striking, and resonates so well because of how familiar it is to us.
3.Katsa & Po's friendship:
I love Katsa, and I love Po! Even separately, they were fantastic characters that I found amusing and amiable. But it's the way that they played off each other and slowly grew closer together that truly sold me on them as characters and their role in the story. Here's a couple you can't help but root for the whole way through; and most of all, I loved seeing a respectful male lead who wants to encourage the heroine and do everything he can to help her in the way she needs and respect her decisions.
So, I've now joined the ranks of Graceling/Kristin Cashore fans. I'm KICKING myself for waiting this long to have read it, and I've moved on to Fire already :) Graceling is a thought-provoking and addictive read, one that will leaving you craving more. I could honestly say so much more about this one, but I'm going to save it for a spoiler-filled review, coming soon :) Perfect read for anyone looking for a heartbreaking, emotionally touching, thought provoking read.
This one has a well-deserved new space on my favourites shelf; and I can't wait to finish off Fire and then get started on Bitterblue (as soon as I manage to get my hands on a copy)!
Thoughts on the audio:
A few people had told me that I must listen to Graceling on audio because it was good- and they were right (again. Clearly I have awesome people recommending books to me). This would actually be a perfect book to introduce a new listener to audiobooks because it's Full Cast, although you'll also be spoiled by it for other books. Full Cast is fantastic because it's such a great quality; there are multiple narrators, all of whom are excellent. Plus there's a little bit of background music at times that helps create a good atmosphere for listening to the story. Hands down, the best, most addictive audio book I've ever listened to. WELL worth the cost of buying it!
If you're new to audiobooks, or just haven't given this one a try yet then I HIGHLY recommend that you pick it up. Like now.
By MJ 03 May 2012
This book was an unexpected treasure! It had the flavour of the Eon/Eona books with a touch of the Inheritance cycle books. Absolutely loved them. Bought them again to give as gifts. Didn't like FIRE as well as Graceling, but still enjoyed it. Can't wait for BITTERBLUE, already preordered it!
A magic world filled with romance and adventure, what's not to love?
By TeensReadToo 02 Oct 2010
In most of the seven kingdoms, people born with a Grace--an extreme skill that they can perform above all others--are usually feared.
However, King Randa of the Middluns kingdom has exploited Katsa's ability to kill ever since her Grace surfaced at the tender age of eight. Katsa had even begun to think that maybe, in reality, she really was nothing but an attack dog, until one day she decided to follow her own will and let an innocent man live. Since then, she and her cousin, Prince Raffin, have put together a secret council to rescue people suffering from similar injustices.
During a rescue mission to free the father of the Lienid king from a dungeon in Sunder, Katsa squares off with a Graced Lienid man who is almost her equal in fighting. When he shows up in Middluns, Katsa is dismayed to learn that he is one of the Lienid princes, nicknamed "Po," in search of his missing grandfather.
Although Katsa is at first wary of his intentions, she soon finds a kindred spirit in Po, and the two grow close as they set off on a journey to solve the mystery surrounding the kidnapping of Po's grandfather. In Monsea, a kingdom isolated by mountains, Po's aunt and young cousin may be in grave danger...
Akin to the tales of Tamora Pierce, this story features strong female characters and an exciting medieval world full of magic and action. Definitely not one to miss!
*Gold Star Award Winner!