What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

When Bitterblue (book 3 of this series) came out in May, I started seeing it all over the place. I thought it sounded interesting, but there was no way I was going to read it without reading Graceling and Fire first. So I picked up a copy of Graceling and dove into it.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

What I Liked: 1) Katsa. She was definitely different than most female main characters. And one of my favorite things about her was watching her grow and change throughout the book. She went from thinking she was who she was, this terrifying person with a killing Grace, to someone who was figuring out that maybe she could be more than how everyone saw her. Loved that. 2) Graces. I thought this idea was really cool. People are born with a special gift or talent, but they are viewed as dangerous or the undesired members of society. Everything about the Graces interested me, from the way they discover them to the different people who had them, to what exactly they were and how they were used. 3) Po. How could you NOT like Prince Po? He was genuine and caring, but also strong and smart. Total package! He was able to teach Katsa more about herself and lead her through some really interesting self-discovery. 4) The action. With Katsa, being the killing machine and Po being Graced with self-combat, you should expect a lot of action. But I thought the way the action fit into the story was great. It didn't interrupt the flow of the story, no matter how many times they stop and start taking swings at each other. It actually becomes a part of the romance between Katsa and Po. Almost like their version of tickling. Made me think of a scene from a cheesy Rom-Com (which I LOVE, btw) where the guy grabs up the girl and starts tickling her. Or they get caught up in some epic snowball fight.

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I noticed was that it was very long. I thought some of it was a little...unnecessary for the story. But it was split up very nicely, so it wasn't that much of an issue!

Overall Thoughts: Graceling was a unique and interesting story. Katsa was a very different kind of main character and the development of her personality was one of my favorite parts of the book. There is also a ton of great action that flows with the story in perfect fashion. I'm already looking forward to reading Fire and Bitterblue, even though I understand that these books follow different characters, like companion stories instead of sequels!

My Rating: 4 shots


  1. I have heard such great things about this series. I really should read it sometime. Awesome review!!

  2. Love this review, Courtney :-) I scored an ARC of Bitterblue, almost by accident, at TLA 2012 in April, and immediately went out to hunt down copies of Graceling and Fire. I haven't read _any_ of them yet, but I really want to. This series seems to have a bit of a cult following, and for good reason, apparently!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

  3. Excellent review! I read Graceling about a month (after it sat on my shelf for a couple months!) and was SOOO excited for Fire... Until I realized Fire is not Katsa + Po. Disappointed. :( I still plan to read Fire & Bitterblue at some point, but I'm not sure they can top Graceling! Definitely one of my new favorites.


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