(The Seven Kingdoms #1)
by Kristin Cashore
performed by David Baker & a full cast
Published 2009 by Full Cast Audio
12 hours, 31 minutes. Unabridged.
Rating: 5/5

Graceling what the people of the Seven Kingdoms call those who are born with special talents or “graces.” Gracelings are rare and feared by most, and their talents are often exploited by the rulers of the kingdoms. They can be picked out by their different colored eyes. Katsa was graced with killing and has a reputation throughout the kingdoms for all the violent acts she performs for her uncle King Randa of the Middluns. However, Katsa has been building a secret council that promotes justice over the abuse of power. It is on a mission for this council that she meets Prince Po of Lienid. His silver and gold eyes instantly mark him as a Graceling, and Katsa finds that his grace is not quite what it seems. The two make an excellent pair and go on a quest together on behalf of the Council.

I knew when I read the synopsis that I would really enjoy this book. It was just one of those books that I have a feeling about it. I’m so glad I was right! I loved it! It was like the first time I read The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. I love this world and everything about it.

Once again, I have to praise these characters. Katsa is one of the best heroines I’ve found in a book yet. She’s strong in so many ways. Obviously, she has great physical strength. She also has very strong will and determination that I love in female characters. She pushes herself to the limits to keep Po and Bitterblue alive. It’s also nice to have a character that’s not too perfect. Katsa is stubborn, and I’m so glad I don’t hate her for it. It’s written well enough into her character that it doesn’t really bother me. It just seems normal. Po is also wonderful. Po is a great laid-back and playful guy. He’s the humble type of royalty it’s so easy to love. None of it goes to his head and it makes him that much more attractive, especially to Katsa.

I really appreciated the fact that Cashore allowed their relationship to develop. There was a little individual development with the two of them, but most of it was done in the relationship itself. It also allowed me to notice the realistic dialogue between them. Sometimes I read books and think “No one would ever actually say something like that.” I never felt that way while reading this story. Everything seemed perfectly normal. There was tension when there needed to be tension and it was easy when they became more intimate with each other.

The plot was great! It was such an original idea. There’s plenty of fantasy I haven’t read yet, but this felt very original. The story itself sucked me in and didn’t let me go until the very end. I never felt bored or like I wanted to skip over something, which is rare for me. Though Cashore’s writing wasn’t anything special, it seemed to flow well enough. It was appropriate for the genre.

The audiobook I listened to was done by Full Cast Audio. It was wonderful! All the actors were age-appropriate and had great reading voices. Also, if you haven’t tried the Playaway portable audiobooks, you should. They’re great. You can choose between three different speeds and it saves your spot whenever you turn it off. They’re pretty neat, but they’re about $70 so I borrowed mine from the library.

Pride Filter: This book contains mild violence and sexual content.

Source: Gardendale Martha Moore Public Library. Gardendale, AL
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Full Cast Audio | Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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  1. Hi there! I am giving you the One Lovely Blog Award!You can check it out here! Reading!Jennifer

  2. Sounds like a great read. New follower!


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