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Graceling – by Kristin Cashore

July 6, 2012

GracelingI find it somewhat fascinating that this book came out in the same month that the first Hunger Games book was published. Two books about teenage girls with eerily similar names – one a skilled fighter and one a hunter forced to fight, with similar attitudes and the same hard shell to keep people out – published at the same time, independently of each other? I would have to say, however, that I prefer Katniss to Katsa. Maybe it’s because I read The Hunger Games first, but I think that Katniss is more nuanced and three-dimensional, while I never quite got a handle on Katsa’s character.

In the world of the Seven Kingdoms, certain people are Graced with extraordinary, super-human talents. Katsa has a killing Grace, making her a dangerous weapon in the hands of her uncle, the king. Katsa is tired of punishing people for her uncle, but she can’t see a way out until she meets Prince Po, another Graced fighter. Together, the two set out to find the truth about his grandfather’s kidnapping and find themselves drawn into a terrible conspiracy that threatens all of the Seven Kingdoms.

The world of the Seven Kingdoms is very fully realized and I love the idea of the Graces. There’s a lot of potential there, and I particularly liked Katsa’s and Po’s deepening understanding of their own Graces. All in all, I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. There is quite a bit of potential for further stories in this world, however, and I’ll be interested to try out the companion book and the new sequel.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. deb kirsch permalink
    July 6, 2012 6:32 pm

    this review intrigues me, leading me to want to read more, especially about the Graces.

  2. August 28, 2012 11:03 pm

    I agree with deb, this would make a great series.

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