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Graceling
by Kristin Cashore
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: Ages 14 and up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 730L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Harcourt
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2008
NO. PAGES: 472
GENRE{S}: Fantasy, Adventure
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
SERIES: Graceling
SEQUEL: Fire (Graceling #2)
AWARD{S}:
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
William C. Morris Finalist
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
ISBN: 0547258305
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop


The Story
Graceling—Book Review

At the age of eight, Katsa learned that she had a special talent -- or "Grace" -- for killing. Since then, her uncle, King Randa, has exploited that talent by using Katsa, now in her late teens, to punish people at his whim. Despising her Grace, Katsa forms the Council, whose secret mission is to right injustices inflicted by the kings of the seven kingdoms. On one of these missions, Katsa meets Prince Po, and the two form an unlikely alliance to uncover the truth about his grandfather's kidnapping.
The Scoop
Graceling—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Fans of the genre, and those who aren't, will likely enjoy this tale of a fiercely independent, self-reliant teen girl who struggles to control her nature in order to do the right thing. The story that unfolds is worth the time it may take the reader to become familiar with the unusual names of people and places. It's no surprise that the book's premise leads to violence. Katsa is involved in many forms of combat (hand-to-hand and with weapons) and has to kill animals for survival. She and Po are also frequently in peril, fighting off attacks by an evil king and his soldiers. This king tortures animals and other helpless creatures for fun, and shoots his wife with an arrow. Katsa makes it clear that she will never "give herself up" to marry, even though she loves Po. Descriptions of their sexual activity are largely subtle, both characters are in their late teens, and Katsa eats a special plant to prevent pregnancy.
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