GRACELING: A Book Review

Um. So. I think it’s safe to say that this is the worst book I read in 2017.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore sounds like a cool book. In a sentence, it’s about a girl who has a gift for killing. Sounds amazing right? Wrong. I was very wrong.

I didn’t like the plot. I didn’t like the romance. I didn’t like anything, except for the characters. But even they were ruined, as they became nothing more than overpowered Mary-Sues. Thinking back on it now, did Po even have a personality, or was he just a flat romantic interest? Even Katsa– who should, by all means be a horrible person and completely badass and chaotically good– is nothing less than some perfect person who never suffers consequence and has everything handed to her. I wanted to like her but ugh. When it comes down to it, these characters are utterly empty.

The plot is so boring. I kept reading and reading, suffering through the first 100 pages where nothing happened. Then, things began to happen and I thought “oh hey, here we go” but…… NOTHING. HAPPENS. It’s so flat, flat, flat. Is there even a plot? It felt like a lot of traveling to a place they never get to. What is a climax? This book doesn’t know. Maybe it needs to retake grade 9 English and learn about “plot maps” and what is “rising action” and how to write a climatic scene.

But the worst… the absolute worst… is the fighting. So Katsa’s gift, her graceling, is supposedly killing, which means she’s this fantastic fighter, a master in the art of war. Great!, you’re thinking, this book is going to have awesome fighting sequences! And guess what? You are entirely wrong! The fighting scenes in this book are TERRIBLE: they’re either completely skipped over and written so sloppy you can’t follow what happens.

The premise of this book is cool, but the story and execution are horrible. In the end, this book is nothing more than a lot of words.