Audio Review: Graceling

Graceling Kristin CashoreGraceling (Graceling Realm #1)

Kristin Cashore

Published October 1, 2008
Audiobook from Library

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. –Goodreads

I kept hearing how awesome this book is and after checking it out from the library on audio five different times I finally got through the first couple chapters and was completed sucked into the story.  For a debut author, Cashore does an amazing job of  story telling. With a full cast for the audio, this was one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to.

I love the world that Cashore has created in Graceling – set in a medieval time with fantasy elements woven into the story – makes the story different from anything I’ve read lately and so interesting. In a seven kingdom realm that is ruled by different kings, there are Gracelings – people who have been blessed with special abilities. The kings in these kingdoms all via to have the best Graceling in their “possession” since they will make their kingdoms stronger. We get a little bit of explanation about the kingdoms at the beginning of the book and this is what made me stop listening the first few times. I think if I had been reading as opposed to listening it wouldn’t have been so bad but all the names just kinda ran together and I could’ve skipped it. Even though we get a little bit of an explanation about the kingdoms, we are really just thrown into Katsa’s world and learn everything we know about the world from her.

In Graceling, Katsa, our main character who is graced, is under her uncles rule and is pretty much his hitman. What unfolds is a story of strength and courage as we follow Katsa through a completely enthralling adventure. Katsa is the strongest Graceling in the kingdoms but can she break the hold her uncle has over her and do what she knows is right? I just really loved Katsa – she is a great female lead and I loved that so many of the girls in the book looked up to her for her strength. When Katsa meets Prince Po, you know there is gonna be something there even though Katsa is 100% against marriage and having kids.  I freakin’ loved Po. He is so swoon-worthy. His character is so understanding and tough and just everything you want in a guy. Po is definitely one of my favorite male characters.

The audio for Graceling is amazingly well done. I know several reviews have complained about the music between chapters and at different times in the story, but that didn’t really bother me. The readers were great. I loved that they had a full cast of readers – it made it so much easier to keep up with everyone! The readers were awesome – with a full cast you would think that some of them would be annoying but there wasn’t one reader that I wished would shut up. If you haven’t read this book and are thinking about it I HIGHLY recommend the audio. Check your library!

I seriously loved Graceling and wish I hadn’t put off reading it for so long. It was truly an amazing book full of adventure, love, and courage. For this to be a debut book, it is so amazingly well written. This is the type of book that needs to be made a movie – it would be amazingly good!

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