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classic review: “graceling” August 4, 2009

Posted by Katie in classic reviews.
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[Classic reviews are reviews that I’ve already written for another source and have moved the text here. I may comment further on them as well.]


Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Harcourt // ARC // 480 pages.
Reviewed from an ARC copy, received at ALA’s Annual Convention, 2008.

Katsa is Graced with the ability to kill, and everyone around her uses her ability to their advantage. When Katsa meets another Graced fighter, she finds herself questioning her life in her Uncle’s palace. With Po’s help, Katsa begins a journey to another kingdom and perhaps to another destiny.

Now, I know that most of the YA readers in the library aren’t wild about high fantasy, but this book is way better than “Twilight.” Seriously! I finished it in one night because I couldn’t put it down. Anyone looking for romance and an escape to another world will be thrilled with this book. And there’s a sequel on the way, coming in the fall! [February 2009]

I originally read “Graceling” as an ARC and immediately ordered it for my library and teens. I really believed in this book, book-talked at Teen Book Club, and I’ve been pleased with the circulation rate (five times in seven months…that is a lot for my crew of reluctant readers). A couple of my girls bug me at least once a week about “Fire” since they caught me reading the ARC.

I’m still enamored with this book and I love Katsa. I think she is a great character, strong but with her own flaws. To me, that’s what makes a book memorable — human characters, characters that I know I could meet regardless of the world they live in. And that’s another story entirely — the world that Cashore has created is strong, vibrant, and has held up through the prequel/continuation/sequel (which I promise I will review shortly!).

Still a safe bet for high fantasy fans, and a great way to introduce new teens to the genre.

SWAN Catalog
This Is My Secret, Kristin Cashore’s blog and website




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