Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Graceling: The Graphic Novel by Kristin Cashore and Gareth Hinds

Graceling: The Graphic Novel by Kristin Cashore and Gareth Hinds
Etch / Clarion Books
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
ISBN-13: 9780358250470

Celebrated illustrator Gareth Hinds adapts Kristin Cashore’s high-fantasy YA classic, Graceling! Katsa was born graced with lethal fighting skills, put to brutal use by her king from a young age. Out on a mission, she crosses paths with a mysterious fighter, the first to ever come close to beating her in combat. The fight changes her, and a series of related events work to unravel the mundane life of servitude and violence Katsa has always known.

This is a faithful graphic adaptation of the original Young Adult novel first published in 2008. Cashore has already written such a strong story and protagonist, and Hind’s artwork manages to capture all the adventure, intrigue, and tense emotions of the original. An included author’s note tells us that Hind’s approached Cashore about this project because he was a fan of the original novel, and that respect and appreciation for Katsa and her adventures is evident in the execution. This graphic version will rekindle the love of the original series for some, and bring a renewed interest in the series for new readers. We can only hope that Hind’s and Cashore will continue to collaborate to bring us adaptations of sequels Fire and Bitterblue.

Fans of both the original Graceling series and of Gareth Hind’s other graphic adaptations won’t want to miss this. You can also hand Graceling to readers who enjoyed high-fantasy series such as Sleepless by Sarah Vaughn and Spera by Josh Tierney.  

—Kelley Blue

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos (March 15, 2022)
  • Kaiju No. 8, vol. 2 by Naoya Matsumoto (April 5, 2022)
  • Magical Boy, vol. 1 by The Kao (February 1, 2022)
  • Ain’t Burned All That Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin (January 11, 2022)
  • Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy (November 23, 2022)
  • Shang-Chi Vs. The Marvel Universe by Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan (January 12, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.