14 Sept 2020

Audio #Review: GRACELING by Kristen Cashore


Author: Kristen Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Source: Purchased from Audible
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I definitely took a long time to read this one! I had it on my shelf in paperback for a while but hadn't gotten around to reading it yet. I think this is technically one of the first YA fantasy novels and I can see a lot of it in other books I've read. While I definitely enjoyed it, I found myself bored for part of it and wondering when we'd get back to the exciting parts again.

I found that this book, even though divided into a few parts, wasn't as coherent as I would have liked. Katsa leaving her court and wanting to start a "rebellion" was an interesting take that ... didn't really go anywhere. She left with Po to learn more to potentially do that but in reality that's not what happened. I think that there was a need for more descriptions and more sections for this to really make sense to me.

And I also thought that the whole section from Po getting injured to the end was just sort of meh. The passing through the mountains was so excruciating to listen to that I am almost positive if I had been reading it as a physical book, I would have DNFed it then. Because it just wasn't interesting, barely developed the characters, and had like minimal impact on the story overall except to have more time pass.

But I loved Katsa as a character and how she grew and developed over time. I thought she was such a strong character that grew into herself over time, which was so great to see. I loved her realization about what her Grace actually was and how she transitioned to using it. I loved seeing how she decided she was going to use her Grace for herself and to help those she loved.

I think the relationship between her and Po was great and I shipped them so hard. I loved watching how they fell in love and seeing when Katsa realized it versus when Po realized it. It was such a great relationship and I am 100000% here for it.

Overall, if you haven't read this already, don't be intimidated by the size and get to it! I highly recommend the full cast audio book which was fantastic and definitely kept me in the story more than anything else would have. I am so glad I purchased this and read it when I did!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

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