Graceling (Graceling Realm) (Paperback)

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Graceling (Graceling Realm) (Paperback)


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Winter 2009 Kids' List

“In a world where some people are born with extreme and often feared skills -- called Graces -- Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, that of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king. Action-packed and featuring a strong, feisty girl.”
— Kristi Tiedt, Butterfly Books, De Pere, WI

Staff Reviews

If you loved The Hunger Games and Divergent, try this next! In Katsa’s
world, there are certain people born with an extreme talent, called a
“Grace.” These people, called “Gracelings,” are respected by some,
exploited by others, and feared by all. Katsa’s Grace is one that even
she hates-the Grace of killing. Her uncle, the king, uses Katsa to
carry out his dirty work: torturing those who displease him. Katsa
bears this duty for years, but her attitude is beginning to change. She
starts to pity those who displease her uncle, and punishes them less
harshly than the king would like. In another act of mercy, Katsa spares
the life of a man interfering with her mission; a man Graced with
combat skills. Little did she know how this would change her own life.
Twists of fate lead Katsa to meet this man again, and she learns he is a
prince of another country. She never expected to become his friend,
which would lead her to learn the truth about her own Grace, as well as
uncover a terrible secret that could destroy her entire world.
Suspenseful, with a blend of romance and action, Graceling will be a
book you’ll want to read over and over again.

— Kat

In The Seven Kingdoms there are unique people who are born with an amazing ability, each person who has one of these abilities is known to the Kingdoms as a Graceling. Gracelings are powerful, feared, used, and in some cases hidden away. Each Graceling is born with an extreme proclivity for a specific purpose or talent; unfortunately for Katsa, her Grace is the ability to kill. As niece to the King of Nander, Katsa is used as his personal assassin, helping her uncle keep a tight hold on his kingdom and his place as one of the most feared kings in the land. Despite her proclivity at ending life, the Grace weighs heavily on Katsa's young shoulders. Taking life is no easy feat and it chafes at her being. She is equally constricted by the eye her uncle keeps on her to ensure his power will never be questioned or overthrown. She is resigned to and horrified by the life she is leading, until she meets a fellow Graceling. Suddenly, Katsa realizes there are more options for her life than she could have hoped for. This book first came across my path many years ago (I was fourteen!) and it was such a fun dive into a different aspect of fantasy for me. What's even more exciting is that Cashore came out with her latest installment in the series, Winterfell, just last week! If you haven't yet read Graceling I highly recommend it, especially for anyone who was a fan of The Hunger Games, or The Divergent Series. It's a really fun fantasy series that dips its toe into the romance realm, and will keep you tearing through book after book.

— From Katie

Enter the Graceling Realm with the beloved story that started it all, from New York Times best-selling author Kristin Cashore.

Katsa is a Graceling, one of the rare people born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she lived a life of privilege until the day her ability to kill a man with her bare hands revealed itself during a royal banquet. Now she acts as her uncle’s enforcer, traveling the kingdom and threatening those who dare oppose him.

But everything changes when she meets Po, a foreign prince Graced with combat skills who is searching for the truth about his grandfather’s disappearance. When Katsa agrees to help him, she never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that could destroy them all.
Kristin Cashore is author of many New York Times best-selling books, including Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue, and Jane, Unlimited. She received a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She currently lives in the Boston area.
Twitter: @kristincashore

A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Winner
Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal,Booklist, and BCCB Best Book of the Year

"In this debut fantasy, Cashore treats readers to compelling and eminently likeable characters and a story that draws them in from the first paragraph. . . . This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Intrigue, death, love, a little sex, and pitched battles create a sure winner for mature fantasy fans."--VOYA (4Q, 4P)

"With a butt-kicking but emotionally vulnerable heroine, [Graceling] should appeal to fans of recent girl-power urban fantasies, as well as readers who've graduated from Tamora Pierce's Tortall series."--Horn Book

"Cashore strikes a strong balance between adventure, drama and romance--bloody battles and sexual tension co-exist in equal measure--and Katsa's combination of pride in her unique talents and vulnerability in her self-doubts make her a strongly sympathetic character. Readers will identify closely with this young woman, whose coming of age also involves coming to terms with a talent that is both a blessing and a curse."--BookPage, November 2008

"Graceling is the wonderful new book by Kristin Cashore about a girl with grace, but who is no Audrey Hepburn. Katsa's extreme special skill, her ‘grace,’ is that she's able to kill people with her bare hands (ouch). In a world of seven kingdoms, Katsa is certainly considered a bad-ass and is respectably feared. Ultimately though, the graceling ends up being shamelessly used by her own family to fight and torture their enemies... until she meets Po . . . There's been a ton of early praise about this debut novel -- so much so that I think it's safe to say there's an official buzz."--Ypulse

"However, as in every season, a few other titles have risen to the surface as potential hits, based on pre-pub buzz, online chatter and word-of-mouth. We've singled out four for particular notice: three are inventive fantasy novels, and one is a harrowing memoir. Publishers and booksellers alike believe these books have what it takes to cut through the noise of a very full season."--Publishers Weekly online

"The teenage characters in this novel, like those we may know in life, grow into their graces. They realize that their monstrous individuality is not so monstrous afterall."--The New York Times Book Review

"Discovering one's true identity and powers is a common theme in young adult literature, but Kristin Cashore, with compelling characters and an ease in combining genres--fantasy, mystery, adventure, romance--develops this theme with enormous freshness."--Newsday

" 'Graceling' offers a fresh view of the process of learning self-mastery and has a knee-weakening romance that easily rivals that of 'Twilight'."--LA Times


“Here’s a WOW of a book! Seeing half-wild Katsa learn humanity as she battles soldiers, storms, and her own obsessive nature—I HAD to know how it ended!” —Tamora Pierce

“Katsa and Po are wonderful: They make me want to cheer. Due to a strong heroine, a supportive hero, political intrigue, and action throughout, this is a book I’ll share with my daughter.” —Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely

“I can’t remember when I last was this impressed by a new fantasy. Kristin Cashore’s voice is fresh and fluent...the end result is a story that you tear through so that you can immediately start again at the beginning and read it with the care it deserves. A truly spectacular novel.” —Susan Hirschman, founder of Greenwillow Books


“I’ve always been a daydreamer; as a child I always lived far from school, and distinctly remember cherishing the long drive, because it was good daydreaming time. Graceling grew from daydreams I had about a girl with extraordinary fighting powers who loved a boy with whom she was insurmountably incompatible.” —Kristin Cashore