Allison Reviews Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Book Cover

Graceling

To say that I was hooked on Graceling by Kristin Cashore from the beginning would honestly be an understatement. From my first introduction to the character of Katsa, I was totally captivated, and dying to know more about her. She’s totally kickass, and so is the world in which she is living in. You see in Graceling,  there are seven kingdoms each of which are ruled by royalty, and within these kingdoms certain people are graced which means that they are notably talented at something. In Katsa’s case, she is graced as an assassin. Yes, an assassin … how bad ass is that?

It is exceptionally bad ass especially with all the feminist undertones within Graceling. Trust me; my inner feminist was going crazy because of this book. I LOVED how certain gender paradigms involving love, marriage, pregnancy, dominance and control, and human emotion were subverted, or shifted, and that Kristin Cashore never changed the way that she was writing them even if it seemed that the context of the story may call for it.  I enjoyed how it seemed that she trusted the reader to be able to navigate the story without too much explanation. I was completely enthralled by the world of the seven kingdoms, the secrets, the messages, and the growth and the development of the characters.

I loved the development of Katsa as a character. At first, it is obvious that she has a conscience for who she is and what she is doing but, isn’t exactly sure how to use it. She has been taught that caring is not an option for her. She’s a little timid at times even when she is being a bad ass assassin but as the story progresses and the secrets and messages are revealed, Katsa’s strength and ability just seems to grow. Much of this growth has to do with her interactions with the character of Po, who I absolutely adored due to his wit and charm. Po catches Katsa off guard but, he never asks her to change who she is for him, instead he helps her find her strength and her true ability as a graceling. Their relationship really is not simply based on romance but instead is based on equality and understanding for each other, and I’ll admit … I fell hard for it.

FOREWARNING: Potential SPOILER Ahead!

“She shivered as he left her to go to the fire, and find water and cloths. He leaned into the light, and brightness and shadows moved across his body. He was beautiful. She admired him, and he flashed a grin at her. Almost as beautiful as you are conceited, she thought at him, and he laughed out loud.”  (243)

 

*swoon*

How adorable are they?

After reading Graceling, I’m really excited to read more from Kristin Cashore. On the outside, her books may seem a little intimidating because they look to be so long but, it appears that you can just delve right into them with ease.  I’m really interested to see what other kind of positive female messages are within her other books, and how she points out the flaws within the current perceived gender paradigms.  I just love being excited about an author that is so willing to deconstruct life ideals and society within their work. Also, Kristin Cashore is super nice in person, and is just so simply fascinating that my admiration for her may be slipping into my desire to read her books. Either way, it definitely seems like a winning situation for me!

Disclosure: Purchased copy from Oblong Books

Other Reviews of Graceling by Kristin Cashore:

April’s Review: “Graceling by Kristin Cashore exudes awesome

Carina’s Books: “Love. Sadness. Happiness. I am mostly happy. I LOVED this book.”

The Fiction Diaries: “This book is pure, beautiful fantasy right from the first page.

Hooked On Books: “Where has this book been all my life?

Icey Books: “Kristin Cashore is a master storyteller.

Comments

  1. I’m so glad you loved it! Graceling and Fire both have a comfortable spot on my favorites shelf. I hope you love Fire just as much!

  2. Allison, I LOVE long books!! The bigger the better. But you are right, it is not just about being long, you have to be able to get sucked in. A long book that is boring, that sucks! (Especially if you have a compulsive need to finish everything you start, like I do!)

    An exciting review, thanks for sharing!

  3. I knew you’d love this book. When I read Graceling, I felt like someone had taken everything I wanted in a book and written it. It made me so happy. I love Fire and Bitterblue just as much, but Graceling will always have a special place in my heart.

    As a side note, your quote kind of has a spoiler in it. Not sure if you’re avoiding those in this review, but I thought I should point it out just in case.

  4. Awesome review! Thanks so much for it. High fantasy is my absolute fave so, yeah, I’ll definitely be TBRing it! Thanks! 😀

  5. I am so glad you loved this book – i had a feeling you would! I really need to read her other books since I loved this one so much! My favorite part were all of the gender roles being twisted and questioned. It was all sorts of awesome!

  6. Graceling is definitely my favorite of the trilogy but I bet you’ll find a lot to love in Fire-also some cool gender stuff there, if I’m remembering correctly.

  7. I love this book so much, and I’m so glad you fell in love with it too. Kristin Cashore’s powerful, feminist heroines are so wonderful. And the men are SO swoon-worthy. They definitely never try to change the women or order them around, and it’s so completely refreshing and wonderful.

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