Featuring FCA favorite Chelsea Mixon as Katsa, and sensational newcomer Zachary Exton as Prince Po, the most fascinating and praised fantasy debut of 2008 now springs to life in a sensational full-cast recording.
©2008 Kristin Cashore; (P)2009 Full Cast Audio
I loved this book both in print and in audio. It is exciting, fast paced and has an awesome storyline filled with both adventure and some romance.
This is the first time I have listened to a full cast audio production and wasn't sure I would like it but it was excellent. I was surprised though that the narrator was a male voice given it is about a female protagonist.
Katsa is a strong heroine who because of her grace can hold her own in any situation. No she does not want to get married for the reasoning that in her society the men expect their wives to be the traditional housewife taking care of the kids, entertaining guests and serving their husbands. This is not what she wants for her life and there is nothing wrong with that - not everyone needs to marry and bear children to be fulfilled in their life (btw I am married with 3 kids).
Yes there is one pre-marital sex scene in this book where she loses her virginity - it is NOT graphic and is 3 paragraphs long. The second sex scene in the epilogue that has been referred to is non-existent as the sex is inferred and not described in detail. I would have no problem letting my teenage daughter read this novel.
Kristin Cashore has released a second book called Fire which is just as excellent - it is a companion book to Graceling - ie about the same "world" but there is only one character that is in both books and that is Leck so both books are standalone. I am very much looking forward to her third book Bitterblue hopefully coming out in the next year or two.
I got this book because of the VERY mixed reviews.
First I believe that no book should be banned for any reason.
That said some books are not appropriate for all readers.
To the people that got hung up about the "sex" scene.
The characters in this book are ADULTS. And Katsa is an assassin!!!! She has the emotion of what she is. Death on two legs.
Poe is the First person to show her any feelings at all.
To those again that went on and on about the sex scene YOU ruined a very good book for me, I kept saying "so when is this going to happen?" And it must be graphic and I really was afraid it would be, the way some had it sound, it would be pornographic. It was not. When it did happen it was in very good taste and wright for the time.
The book is PREFORMED like a play with many actors. Some may not like this, I do. It was well written and well preformed, and the story is very good.
It should not be shocking to have a strong female lead as most of the rubbish on TV is so poorly done.
I recommend Garth Nix"'s Sabriel for more of the same.
I really enjoyed this book, but the audio did take me a bit to get used to. I am not used to listening to the full cast audio books, usually just one reader. But everyone was pretty good. But I could have done without the music that was periodically inserted. I think that it was supposed to be creating suspense, but most of the time it just made me laugh.
First a disclaimer - This review is actually written by James' wife.
Now, down to business! I love this book! I liked Katsa, Po, Raffin and the rest, liked the readers for all of the parts, too, which I haven't often found to be the case. I'm really looking forward to "Fire" which may tell about where King Lec came from, and "Bitterblue" and I really hope they will also use the full cast audio crew who did such an excellent job on this book.
I'm on my 4th "read" and I don't think it will ever get old for me. Buy it and enjoy!
Tell us about yourself!
If youre looking for a no-nonsense heroine who can handle her own then this is the book for you. Its exciting, funny, and romantic, though there is no damsel-in-distress waiting to get married and have babies in this book. Katsa is both strong willed and minded and a fresh alternative to the heroines desperately pining away in other YA novels. The full cast audio was weird at first, but now I prefer it. I think this is Cashore's best work to date, Fire has been a bit of a chore to get through in comparison.
First of all, the full cast narration for me was difficult to get through and at times distracting (like the little jingles when the main character runs)
Overall the story is good but not great, wished the author would have done more. (I read Fire before writing this review and still feel like the author could do so much more)
The author has some really great ideas but to me they are never fully developed. The concept of a graceling, the powers, the limitations, the types, is all very intriguing but not explained in depth. The author does explain two or three types of graceling powers but left me wanting to know much more about the graceling concept.
The book really focuses on two main characters and glosses over the other characters. There seems to be a lot of traveling that doesn't advance the storyline. Events do happen while the characters travel but overall they are insignificant.
Once you’re a quarter into the book the rest of the storyline is pretty obvious, no big surprises.
If you are looking for a book about an unprecedented assassin as other reviews would lead you to believe, this is not your book. This book focuses more on relationships between characters.
Overall it is an alright book but could have been amazing if the author would have done more.
I have read Fire and intend to read Bitterblue when it is release.
Side Note: I consider myself to be fairly conservative and in no way did this book offend me as it relates to the act of sex, fornication or an anti-marriage message. Other reviewers make it sound horrendous and it is not.
Wonderful reader, well written and very exciting story. Not my usual genre, but I loved this story. Funny, sassy heroine and well written hero.
I got this book because of the good ratings.However the reviews are mixed.This is a young ADULT novel.The premise is new and the plot was good.Things did wrap up a little too easy and after the inital issue was taken care of the book still had another hour or so that was kinda slow. Comments have been made about the sex and anti-marriage theme.Katsa has been controlled all her life because of her "grace".She is finally free and does not want to marry but she does fall in love and is committed to Po.AFTER they fall in love they do have sex, which is MOSTLY only implied.This book has several violent episodes.Again---young ADULT.
I did not care for the full cast audio, one good female narrator would have been better.Reason--Katsa is the main player,she is female,most of the thoughts and feelings were hers.The music was distracting and I jumped almost every time it came on.
The story is great the Narrator is annoying. i think that maybe the book work be a better choice.
I've only listened to a handful, so this would probably rank as 3/5.
My favorite character was Bitterblue, the little princess with moxie. She was such a little trooper! I wanted to like the main character Katsa, but she was almost obnoxiously obstinate and naive at times.
I liked that the narrator would do different voices for the different characters.
If you had the power to kill with your bare hands, what would you do?
I only wish that this book wasn't as predictable as it was. I pretty much could figure out what would happen, even though it was treated as some big twist. Sigh. Still, it was entertaining and fun. A good read/listen regardless!
'Graceling' is an excellent book - imaginative and fresh. In all, the best kind of fantasy novel, with a rich new world to explore...and i can't wait for the third one in the series.
This audiobook should have stayed on the same path and kept it simple - i can cope with a multiple voice reading and have introductory music by all means, then LEAVE IT ALONE.
Instead, we have a very annoying and repetitive musical narrative that intrudes, practically every time the story takes a breath, instead of leading unobtrusively, before fading quickly and delicately away. The heavy handed musical clout we have laid on us is something else again. In CD form, you might have a chance to edit this annoyance but it may be like that hideously annoying voice that tells you to change the disc. Luckily most companies have stopped doing this but now we need to campaign to have the music in-between chapters deleted as well! It is SO ANNOYING as it impairs the flow of the story and this is one that i love.
If you can handle that, do please buy this.
"A Perfect Introduction to the Audible Titles"
As you may have guessed from the title, this was my first purchase on Audible. Graceling had appealed to me to a while, but I don't have enough time to read in my life right now, so was thrilled to find this title here when I joined.
I loved the story itself. The plot was set out brilliantly, and the pace at which it progressed was beautiful. You started out getting to know Katsa and what her unique upbringing has done to her, but then the crises introduced into her life flowed together so fluidly that you feel her life overwhelming you too. Kristin Cashore is truly a brilliant writer. Personally, I felt the love scenes were only put in there for the necessity of the story (you do want Katsa to open her heart, but you knew exactly how and when it was going to happen anyway), but part of that is as a result of my own cynical attitude.
As for the quality of the reading, I was very happy. The narrator did his job well and the cast were all clearly very good voice actors. In fact, after this experience, I couldn't imagine returning to written books even if I gained enough time to fit it in.
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