The Graceling series is one of my favorites.
To love it or hate it, The Hunger Games paved the way for a new wave of young female-driven fantasy, dystopian, and science fiction stories. I thought this was awesome! This year Graceling came out just one month after The Hunger Games. Both books featured a strong female protagonist in a world where everything seems to be working against her, but she persevered.
Katsa is a powerful character in Graceling. She has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since the age of eight. One of a small number of people born with extraordinary abilities, Katsa is a Graceling. As the King’s niece, Katsa is compelled to carry out his orders because of her skill in killing.
It is only as we follow Katsa’s journey that we learn more about her grace and the secrets that threaten to devastate the world she has come to know. Similar books can be found if you’ve already read the Graceling series.
Books like Graceling
Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
Readers have been divided over books like Graceling. Throne of Glass is a book that has polarized readers. As Celaenia, an 18-year-old convicted assassin recently released from prison, the Crown Prince offers her freedom in exchange for her participation in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Celaenia accepts.
According to the author’s notes at the end of the book, Mass was inspired by the story of Cinderella. In spite of the fact that Celaenia’s drive and lethality are evident throughout the story, Cinderella is a more passive character. Throne of Glass has divided opinion, with some people hating it and others embracing it.
You should always read the book before forming an opinion, and if you enjoyed Graceling, there is an excellent chance that you will enjoy Throne of Glass.
Is Sarah J. Mass one of your favorite artists? Check out our lists of books similar to Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses for more reading material.
Trickster’s Choice, by Tamora Pierce
Graceling, for example, is a book that likes to mix and match old and new tropes. As we follow Alianne, the teenage daughter of Tortall’s first lady knight, Trickster’s Choice accomplishes this. Alianne, on the other hand, is more interested in following in the footsteps of her father, a successful spy.
Because of her work as a spy, Alianne survives her captivity and subsequent slave sale to an exiled royal family. She uncovers a web of deceit, deception, and political intrigue very quickly. After the events of Pierce’s previous Tortall books, Trickster’s Choice retains its fantasy setting and plot.
When it comes to a story’s protagonist, Alianne is an excellent one. Her bluffing and conniving of conceited characters is a lot of fun to watch. Trickster’s Choice is worth a shot if you enjoy Graceling.
War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull
Graceling is an example of a book that isn’t just for the twenty-first century. The Locus Award for Best First Novel was given to War for the Oaks in 1987. Emma Bull’s debut has a lot to do with modern urban fantasy.
Our protagonist is Eddi McCandry. A rock and roll singer who’s breaking up with her boyfriend at the same time her band is splitting up. While walking home from school in the rain, Eddi is drafted into an invisible battle between faeries.
The combination of action, romance, rock ‘n’ roll, and faeries results in a story that is both entertaining and energizing. Emma Bull has a lot to thank for the current faerie fantasy craze.
Before urban fantasy became a mainstream genre, she was teaching modern authors how to write urban fantasy.
Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder
Like Graceling, there are always books that play with expectations. Yelena, the protagonist of Poison Study, is about to be executed for murder when she receives a last-minute reprieve. Just become a food tester for the Commander of Ixia and she’ll be set.
When the Chief of Security poisons Yelena with Butterfly Dust, it’s an easy decision. She then has to show up every day for a dosage of antidote. Behind it all, a rebellion is stirring, disasters are happening left and right, and Yelena is beginning to develop magical abilities.
Poison Study is chock-full of likable characters, a fascinating setting, and a few noteworthy events. Several critics have argued that it lacks originality, but I disagree. Stories can be retold in numerous ways, regardless of how many times they have already been told.
Those who enjoyed Graceling will enjoy Poison Study, which tells a familiar story in a new way.
Sister’s Red, by Jackson Pearce
Graceling is full of fairy tale tropes and retellings. Sister’s Red takes Little Red Riding Hood and turns it into a delightfully gory tale. After saving her sister Rosie from a vicious attack, Scarlett March vowed to avenge the werewolves who had taken her eye.
Rosie goes on the hunt with her sister, but she’s becoming increasingly disillusioned with their bleak existence. Scarlett’s only friend, Silas, is a young woodsman, and Rosie is growing more and more attracted to him.
Even if the plot of Sister’s Red is predictable, the book still makes for an enjoyable read. Pearce’s portrayal of young women in danger is the only thing I’d like to point out. It appears that Scarlett and Rosie are acting as the guardians of young, beautiful girls who are oblivious to the dangers around them.
When a ‘wolf’ of a man is about to pounce on a young, inebriated woman, Scarlett and Rosie are her only hope. This is risky because it places the blame for predatory behavior on the women who are exploited.
Younger readers may think that young women should dress and act appropriately in order to avoid being taken advantage of by a scumbag man. This is a common misconception. That’s not fair. It is the criminal who is unable to control his impulses, since any man should be able to do so.
With the exception of the muddled storyline, Sister’s Red presents a convincing portrayal of a sibling relationship that slowly drifts apart. Many readers will find a lot to connect with in this book..
Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
In books like Graceling, the existence of angels and demons is not unheard of. At first glance, Karou and Akiva seem like enemies, but they’re actually best friends. They’re a chimaera and an angel.
Throughout the world, mysterious winged creatures have left black handprints on doorways. Prague is home to Karou, a young art student who keeps a notebook filled with drawings of monsters that, as it turns out, are actually there. When she meets Akiva and learns the truth about herself, the story takes off.
The relationships between the characters are what makes Daughter of Smoke and Bone successful. In Karou’s case, she’s not the type of person who simply’swoons’ over a new acquaintance. The way some men treat women is well known to her, and she is well-versed in the shady depths to which people can descend.
The ‘badly-behaved-mysterious-stranger’ trope doesn’t apply to Akiva because he is multi-layered. He has no good or bad qualities. Children will learn about the complexity of the world around them through this well-crafted protagonist.
This will be a treat for fans of Graceling.
Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge
One of the main themes in books like Graceling is the idea of forbidden love. A young woman named Nyx is destined to marry an evil ruler of her kingdom in Cruel Beauty.
Nyx devises a plan to save herself after becoming enraged at her family’s failure to intervene. Once Ignifex is seduced and his castle destroyed, the curse he has placed on her land can be broken. However, Ignifex does not live up to expectations when Nyx first meets him.
Another retelling of Beauty and the Beast is Cruel Beauty. It follows many of the traditional plot beats while also delivering a few unexpected twists. Ignifex is a fascinating character, and Nyx, despite her lack of strength as a protagonist, manages to keep you engaged throughout the story. Fantasy and romance have always gone hand in hand.
This is yet another example of a fairy tale being retold in an entertaining way.
The Killing Moon, by N.K. Jemisin
Graceling, for example, bears only a passing resemblance to the typical fantasy tropes of the genre. The Killing Moon reimagines many fantasy tropes, allowing the reader to experience a novel narrative. By virtue of her voice, Jemisin stands out among her peers in the science fiction and fantasy genre.
He begins to question everything he has ever believed about his world in The Killing Moon. Gujaareh, a lost city-state in the ancient Near East, is the setting for this fantasy world in which mages use sleep magic to heal, soothe, or even kill those they deem corrupt. In order to save the lives of innocent dreamers, Ehiru must uncover a plot that is killing them.
Initially this seems like a standard high fantasy story, but as you read on, you quickly realize that this is far from it. Author Jemisin is able to shine a light on aspects of life that are rarely discussed, such as what it’s like to be a hospice patient.
A caste system based on skin color, ethics, history, and sexuality are all here. Women are people, not stereotypes. They each have their own set of perceptions, goals, and preconceived notions. The characters have a believable quality to them.
Those who enjoyed Graceling’s more esoteric aspects will enjoy The Killing Moon.
High stakes, richly complex characters, and romantic subplots are all present in books like Graceling. These are just a few of our ideas for book titles.