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In which I reread Graceling by Kirstin Cashore...

Here are my thoughts. Beware, spoilers aplenty so this is just for those who have already read Graceling by Kristin Cashore. If you have NOT read it, you can read my review here.

  • I do not remember Katsa being so prickly and naive the first time I read this. I mean, obviously I still love her to the ends of the earth but I thought it was a given...not so. My adoration was earned. Which is 300x better.
  • I adore how Cashore creates a feminist heroine that isn’t abrasive or ridiculous in her feminism. She has beliefs and feelings about her independence and her lifestyle choices and isn’t angry when people don’t understand them (okay fine, for the most part. Looking at you, Giddon).
  • I did not remember that a good chunk of the action takes place with Katsa and Bitterblue without Po. I wonder if this was Cashore’s way of reminding the reader that Katsa is a strong and independent woman who can love someone but still live her life and do what needs to be done. She is not dependent on Po, although she clearly loves him and wants him in her life. Yes, she had a HARD time leaving him when he was injured, but she did it. I feel like most characters in YA in her position would be lost/distraught/focused on him soley in his absence. Not so with Katsa!
  • How did I forget how central Bitterblue was to everything? How am I not having nightmares about Leck and his awfulness?
  • Basically, this reread with Liz, Amy, Hannah and Asheley only further reminded me that I LOVE THIS BOOK and you should too. The end.

I read this as part of #CashoreGoodtimes. It's totally not too late to join in on the fun! We're starting Fire TODAY (January 28th). WOOOOOOO!

If you HAVE read Graceling, what did you think? What did you love? Or were there things you found frustrating? Do share!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. "I feel like most characters in YA in her position would be lost/distraught/focused on him soley in his absence. Not so with Katsa!"

    One of the reasons Graceling is such an awesome book is that it doesn't indulge in so many of the tired tropes that plenty of other YA books do, especially this one. (Which is probably the most infuriating.) Katsa is one of my favorite characters!

  2. I remember being hooked on Graceling almost from the start. I remember that the beginning wasn't quite what I expected but by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. I don't own a copy of Fire so can't join the readalong but hope it gives you some great things to think about!

  3. Um, now I think I might have to reread this. I read it WAY back in the day in the years before I ever reviewed or blogged about books. All I can remember is LOVING IT.

  4. Gah, I NEED to read Fire and Bitterblue already, but I share ALL YOUR LOVE for Graceling! Seriously, YES, I love that Katsa doesn't need Po, she just loves him and wants him in her life because of that, but can still achieve things regardless. She totally earns your affections (though I'm prone to loving prickly characters). And Leck is such a creepy mofo. o.O

  5. I may have to join in. This series is one of my all time favorites. I just love Katsa & Po's relationship. You are right. She obviously lives him & he knows it. But she isn't compelled to sit around and twiddle her thumbs NOR does he expect her to. Aww! Perfection.

  6. Love this book! So much! I have read both Graceling and Fire, sadly not Bitterblue yet. This makes me want to reread it again, so maybe I will pick it up one evening. I do love that it is wonderfully unique from other YA fiction books that seem to follow too many trends (annoyances). I'm glad so many other people love this book, too!

  7. Love these additional thoughts Lisa! I'm with you on not remembering that so much of the action involved just Katsa and Bitterblue. I didn't even read it that long ago, and I still forgot how independent Katsa was. I also loved that the was able to leave Po, even though she didn't want to, because it was what needed to be done to save Bitterblue and lead the kingdom to a better future. Total girl power moment!

    So enjoyed rereading it with you and the other fabulous ladies - now I just need to pick up Fire!


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