Book - 2008
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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, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Publisher: Orlando, FL : Harcourt, 2008
ISBN: 9780152063962
Characteristics: 471 p. : map ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Children born with two different colored eyes are gracelings, and are endowed with special talents. Some are nice, like being the best artist. Katsa, unfortunately, is just good at killing - or so she's been told.

From the critics

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Nov 01, 2018

“Graceling” is an elegantly drawn book that introduces the reader to a world where individuals with heterochromia happen to have magical skills. We follow Katsa, an incredible narrator and leading lady who seemingly has the grace of killing. Katsa is a strongly drawn protagonist that offers a great deal to young female readers—she is strong, independent, and powerful beyond the other men in the kingdoms. As she moves through the story, the author creates impressive insights about power, responsibility, and the difference between being weak and needing another’s protection. The plot moves along predictably at first, but about midway through the book we are surprised with a shift in story that sets the pace to a booming step and draws in a new character who figures prominently within the piece. This is when the great heft of the novel appears, and when the reader is helpless but to continue whipping through the pages. Even the epilogue creates new situations and challenges for the characters, widening the world while still bringing the story to a close—and ultimately opening up room for sequels. The first book definitely warrants a foray into the companion book “Fire”. A fast but meaningful read, “Graceling” is a joy to speed through but also offers lingering considerations that open up for good conversation.

ArapahoeJillK Jul 12, 2018

An exceptional fantasy, adventure, survival, coming-of-age novel with strong character and plot development.

May 15, 2018

This book is so INTENSE. I love how fast-paced and action-packed this book is. So cleverly written and so much complex plot-- READ. MUST-READ. AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Jan 15, 2018

This book was amazingly written and I loved the romance and adventure in it.. there were some sad parts, but that (in a way) made it even better! Katsa and Po were made for each other I think the author did an amazing job... I defiantly recommend this book! Hope you enjoy..

(Also please hover over but don't click on my username (blue_wolf_710) above and follow me... Thank you!!)

May 17, 2017

One of the best books I've read!!!!

Mar 20, 2017

This is book 1 of 3. The cost of using magic. Aircart. Many worlds.

Jan 19, 2017

I don't like romance novels at all, but this novel was truly amazing. I do not advise this to anyone who cannot function off of less sleep, because you WILL stay up reading it and thinking about it

DBRL_KrisA Nov 27, 2016

Strong 4.5 out of 5. There were some parts that dragged a little, and the story was less about plot than about relationships (Katsa and Po, Katsa and her uncle) and showing a strong female lead character.
Parts I really liked: Katsa crossing the mountains with Bitterblue; Katsa showing up some tough guys who think they can pick on a girl. The are-they-or-aren't-they relationship between Raffin and Bann. (Others have commented negatively, saying Cashore shouldn't push the "homosexual lifestyle" on impressionable teens; I say that a lot of teens reading these books are figuring out their own sexualities, and need an example of a good, stable relationship. I also say that Cashore never says these two are gay, or in a romantic or sexual relationship, so maybe you all are projecting a little bit?)
Cashore does a beautiful job of describing the seven kingdoms, the scenery, the elements, the mountains and the ocean. I also enjoyed the dialog between Katsa and Po, and really her ability to write sarcastic, playful, humorous dialog.

Nov 22, 2016

If you love City of Glass and that series, you'll love this one too!

Nov 16, 2016

I really liked the idea and I liked the way it was written. Katsa is pretty cool - she's strong and basically unbeatable. Po was also interesting and I liked seeing his powers develop. However, I didn't find the romance necessary. It would have been just as good of a book without them having sex in the middle of it. I also wish there was a bit more to the ending. It left some things open that I would have liked to see resolved. All together, not one of my favourite books, even though the genre is what I usually like.

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Sep 15, 2017

EvelynB2004 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 18, 2017

EmmaHong2006 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 16

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Sep 12, 2016

oona_laluna thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 23, 2016

Borealis7 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 04, 2016

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 04, 2016

ADWithrow thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

BostonPL_JordanD Jul 31, 2015

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 28, 2015

Orange_Elephant_51 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 18, 2014

AC_YYC thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Aug 21, 2016

Or even better, wait until all your children are older and give my name to whichever is the most troublesome and obstinate.

Aug 21, 2016

"It seems better to me for a child to have these skills and never use them, than not have them and one day need them," she said.

Aug 21, 2016

Of course, if Po were here their difficulty of disguise would be multiplied manyfold; between his eyes and the rings in his ears, and his accent, and even his manner of carrying himself, he would need to wear a sack over his head to avoid drawing attention.

Aug 21, 2016

They sat together companionably, the child and the lion killer, listening to the wind that drove the snow outside their mountain cave.

Aug 21, 2016

"It humbles me. But it doesn't humiliate me."

Aug 21, 2016

He laughed. "I know you're teasing me. And you should know I'm not easily humiliated. You may hunt for my food, and pound me every time we fight, and protect me when we're attacked, if you like. I'll thank you for it."

Aug 21, 2016

"Your brothers are the foolish ones," Tealiff said, "for not seeing the strength in beautiful things..."

Ivana Truong
Jul 16, 2014

"When there's smoke there's fire."

Mar 28, 2012

They would assume she was a boy, because in her plain trousers and hood she looked like one, and because when people were attacked it never occurred to anyone that it might have been a girl.

Mar 28, 2012

She cried like a person whose heart is broken and wondered how, when two people loved each other, there could be such a broken heart.

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Add a Summary

Sep 15, 2017

Katsa, Graced with killing, is King Randa of the Middluns' pawn. She punishes anyone who disobeys the king. But she is tired of being a pawn, and when Tealiff, a Lienid prince, is mysteriously captured by King Murgon of Sunder, she realizes she may need the help of the young Lienid, Prince Po, to free herself from the king and figure out the mystery.

Jul 20, 2016

This book is set in a fantasy land, where there are people who are given special powers, recognizable by their two differently colored eyes. Graceling introduces you to Katsa, a young girl Graced with killing, who is used as a pawn by her uncle to kill and torture his enemies. When she meets Prince Po, Graced with fighting, it seems she's met someone who can match her skills. Now, things are just getting interesting. Join Katsa and Po on an epic adventure with a whole cast of memorable characters!

Jul 21, 2015

Katsa is born with two different coloured eyes. What does this mean for her future in the Seven Kingdoms? Katsa is battling enemies, herself and her feelings towards a new person in her life while she tries to save Tealiff from Lienid.

LPL_RachaelH Jun 25, 2014

Katsa is Graced in the worst way possible. Born into a world where having two different colored eyes means that you are exceptionally gifted, or Graced, Katsa has spent her life navigating the Kings court to stay alive. This is made much more difficult because the King happens to be her uncle and she is Graced in killing. After being used as an enforcer since she was young, Katsa's path becomes more complicated when she meets a foreign Prince who ignites a fire in Katsa to fight back.

KRockstar10 Apr 10, 2013

Graceling takes place in a fantasy world in which certain individuals are born with a "Grace"--a special talent or ability. Gracelings are identifiable by their eyes, which are two different colors. This story centers around a Graceling named Katsa, a teenage girl Graced with the gift of killing. Once her uncle, the nefarious King Randa, discovers her Grace, he uses her as his personal assassin. As you can imagine, all this killing and lack of freedom has made Katsa a bit jaded. Katsa joins forces with another Graceling, Prince Po, and the two of them set out on a journey to discover who kidnapped Po's grandfather. On the way, Katsa discovers new things about herself and about her Grace.

Jun 02, 2012

Katsa has a Grace - a special talent - but of all possible ones, hers is killing. Up until now, she has been used as a thug by her uncle, the king. Yet when she meets a mysterious graceling whose fighting skill matches hers, Katsa begins to realize her true Grace.

Dec 25, 2010

From the inside flap:
In a world where people born with an extreme skill, called a Grace, are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skill, 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.


Add Notices

Jun 20, 2014

Sexual Content: The protagonist has sex with her boyfriend in this novel. It's not described in great detail, but it's described enough that I'd be uncomfortable giving this book to tweens and younger teens. It's unfortunate-- it's such a great book, and appropriate for younger audiences except for two short sex scenes.

Feb 21, 2013

Other: TO COUGES thank you for your warning i appreciate it a lot

Feb 21, 2013

Sexual Content: Ace_E360 SHUT YOUR MOUTH!! unless Katsa and Po are married their sleeping together is wrong and should not be promoted in any book. if someone wishes to warn others on that fact they have the right to do so!

Jun 17, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Feb 27, 2011

Sexual Content: Couges: News flash: Katsa and Po are very committed, and the book presents marriage as being unsuited for the temperament of the characters. Nowhere does it promote marriage in general as undesirable. Also, (and here's the real news flash) life is riddled with pre-marital sex, and marriage is unnecessary. So I don't really see what you're complaining about.

Nov 25, 2009

Sexual Content: This book is riddled with pre-marital sex, celebrates non-commital relationships and promotes marriage as undesirable and unneccesary.

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