Friday, February 29, 2008

The Blog Stops (or Starts?) Here

This site is a work in progress. You're certainly welcome to read the posts I wrote prior to this one, but what you'll find is that these are the posts meant to link up with the "quick links" on the side. Some of them are incomplete. Others, you may have linked to already. Continue at your own peril!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Acceptance for Fire, November 22, 2010

The following is my acceptance of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for Fire. I presented these remarks on November 22, 2010 at NCTE-ALAN's annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

******

One thing I’ve learned from this experience is that it isn’t just that I get to have the joy and pride of winning this awardI also get the joy of sharing it. My parents are here today, as is my sister Catherine. My favorite part of this process was the moment when I got to call my family members and tell them that that Fire had won this award. So I want to thank with all my heart the members of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee for giving me this gift of an opportunity not only to be proud myself but to make my family proud.

I wanted to talk a little about where Fire came from, but I think it’s essentially an impossible thing to do very well—because Fire, like most books, came from too many places to name, it’s wasn’t linear, and also, when you’re writing a book, you’re busy writing it. You’re not stopping to record your process just in case there’s an award acceptance speech in your future; you’re not asking yourself, “Oh, but where did I get that idea?” And so, the truth is that I don’t particularly know or remember how I wrote Fire… But I have isolated six unrelated places Fire came from, and I’m going to share them with all of you today.

NUMBER ONE. On the most practical level, Fire, which was my second book, came from a line in my first book, Graceling. My character Po is telling my character Katsa the story of where a third character, Leck, came from, and Po says to Katsa, “One day, a boy came to court, begging and telling stories in return for food and money. The servants took him in, for he told such wonderful stories—wild stories about a place beyond the seven kingdoms, where monsters come out of the sea and air, and armies burst out of holes in the mountains, and the people are different from anyone we’ve ever known.”

Now, when I wrote that line about the place beyond the seven kingdoms with the monsters and the armies, it was kind of a throwaway line. I needed Leck’s stories to be about something, so why not monsters and armies. But then, for some reason, as I continued to write Graceling, that line stuck with me, and I started asking myself questions. What does that mean, monsters coming out of the sea and air, what are these monsters? How can an army burst out of a mountain? Leck—the character of Leck—is sort of a pathological liar, so it would be normal to assume that he made up those stories—but I started to ask myself, what if he didn’t? What if this is the one thing he was telling the truth about? What if this place really exists, and thirty-some years ago, Leck was there as a boy? I knew I didn’t want to write a book with Leck as a main character, because that would make for the most disturbing year of my life… but I already had this other person in my head, this young woman who was kind of knocking on the door of my mind and trying to get my attention… and when I combined this woman with the notion of this other land, she fit there. She fit in that land. And that’s one of the ways Fire started to grow.

NUMBER TWO. Fire came from—or, at least, a little corner of Fire came from—a scene in the third Lord of the Rings movie, Return of the King. It’s that scene where Gandalf is riding his horse across a plain at the head of Faramir’s army, his robes and his white hair are flying, and he’s holding his staff before him in the air—and light is coming from his staff, shining into the skyand that light fends off these terrifying winged creatures that are the mounts of the Nazgul who are trying to kill Gandalf and Faramir’s army. I saw that scene, with the flowing hair and the staff of light and the flying monsters, and the beauty and the power of it imprinted itself in my brain, and I said to myself, “My girl could do that. She could be that person on that horse, defending an army.” I didn’t know how to make that happen, or when, or where, or how to make it unique. But I knew I wanted to try it. If you’ve read Fire, then maybe you remember the scene in which Fire protects her enemies, essentially, from raptor monsters, by riding out on her horse and drawing the monsters to herself with the sight of her hair. That was my Gandalf moment.

NUMBER THREE. Fire came from my experience as a woman navigating a world in which women are so often, and so instantly sometimes, objectified, their personhood dismissed, and their value measured against some sort of weird, messed-up, unhealthy standard of attractiveness. Fire came from a lot of questions I and maybe some of you have. Like, for example, why can’t a woman walk down the street wearing tight pants and a low-cut top with her cleavage hanging out, why can’t she do this with no shame, no apology, no embarrassment, no need to hide herself—and have no men disrespect her, and no women back-stab or trash-talk her? Why can’t she do that if she wants to? And on the other extreme, why can’t a woman walk down the street in a burqa, completely covered except for her eyes, without being told that she’s repressed, or victimized, or hiding from the world? What if she’s wearing it because she wants to, because she prefers to be judged by what she says and does, not by what she looks like, and her dress is a statement of that? Couldn’t that be just as strong an expression of self-esteem as the woman who dresses like a street walker and doesn’t apologize for it? Why do we expect women to be all things at once, but only if they follow very specific societal rules about how to do that, and when and where, and operate within very particular margins? There was a line in the Los Angeles Times’s review of Fire that read, “Having created an exaggeration of female experience in Fire's monster form, Cashore can be brutally honest about the realities of girls' lives.” That line made me so happy, because my desire to do just that is one of the places Fire came from.

NUMBER FOUR. Fire came from a ratty piece of paper that I referred to fairly often as I was writing. The title at the top of this piece of paper read, “Page of Important Points,” and it was basically a list of feelings that I wanted this book to convey. I’m a big one for throwing things away once I no longer need them, but luckily, I hung onto this piece of paper, so I can tell you some of the words that are written on it. It says: “Monsters are ruthless… weather and terrain are wild. Insomnia. Trust and mistrust. Lies. Loss, desolation, waste, the bleakness of the future, death, childlessness, loneliness, solitude, the burden of guilt, the damage of humiliation.”

Now, I hope those of you who haven’t read Fire and were considering doing so haven’t changed your minds now on the grounds that it’s apparently the most depressing book ever written, and this strikes me as an appropriate moment to remind you that one of the criteria for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award is that it be a book that offers hope. I am particularly touched and gratified that the award committee found the hope in my dark tale. I think there’s humor in it, too, and lightness—I hope my readers are able to find those things in there.

NUMBER FIVE. Fire came from an evening my sister Catherine and I spent once piling tinsel on top of our heads and then admiring the beeeyootiful effect in the mirror. My sister Catherine is my best friend. Fire is dedicated to her. And she and I have very different… taste… in Christmas decorations. My taste in Christmas decorations pretty much runs to no decorations at all, whereas I think that if Catherine had the time and resources, she would turn her house into a big, house-sized glitter Santa Claus and you’d have to, like, walk through his mouth to get inside, and as you walked in you’d hear him saying HO-HO-HO! all around you, and inside the house there would be shiny things everywhere. Stars and icicles and jingle bells and tinsel. I think, ideally, that’s how it would be… it would be pretty spectacular.

So. One day, I went to Catherine, and I said, “Catherine, do you have any tinsel?” So Catherine went away for a few minutes, and then she came back with, like, mountains of tinsel in red, green, blue, gold, silver, et cetera, which was just what I was hoping she would do. So, I took one of them, let’s say it was the green, and I piled it on top of my head, and I stood in front of the mirror. And then I was like, “Catherine, do you mind trying one?” and I piled the blue tinsel on top of her head, and we admired that for a while, and then we piled the blue on me and the green on her and the silver on me and the gold on her and so on… because the thing is, I was having a really hard time picturing the way the colors would work together with my monsters in Fire. I didn’t know what color hair and eyes to give to my two human monsters, Fire and Cansrel. And Catherine and I have different colored eyes from each other, so we did this tinsel thing because I was trying to see how various bizarre colors of hair look with various colors of eyes. I was trying to make something that was just an idea more solid, so that I could get to an answer. And my sister is a lovely person, but I still think it’s a testament to the powers of my imagination that when we piled red tinsel on her head, I was able to look at my green-eyed sister with her red-tinsel turban and say, Huh. Fire, the most beeeyootiful woman in the Dells, clearly has blood red hair and green eyes.

Catherine, incidentally, didn’t ask me once why we were doing this. I think this is partly because it didn’t matter. It was fun, it was Christmas in June, so who cares. But I’m guessing she also suspected that, like most of my weirder behavior, this had something to do with some book I was thinking about, and she knew, in her wonderful, supportive-without-being-nosy way, not to pry. She knew I’d tell her if I wanted to. I didn’t tell her. I didn’t tell anyone a thing about Fire until it was pretty much done. She put the tinsel away once we’d tried it all, and went back to whatever she’d been doing before, and that was that. I don’t know if she even remembers it, but it’s one of my favorite Fire-related memories.

NUMBER SIX. Fire came from a hard time in my life. It’s hard sometimes to know whether your life becomes dark because the book you’re writing is dark—Fire’s head was not a particularly comfortable head to be stuck in for a year and a half while I was drafting—or whether the book you’re writing becomes dark because your life is dark, but either way, while I was writing Fire, my life was changing in a lot of ways that were beyond my control and that were overwhelming to me, and I was a little bit lost in my own life. Fire was lost in hers, too. I’m not anymore. I’m not lost in my life. And I don’t think Fire is either. I think Fire has found her place. But it’s a very human condition, you know? Every one of us knows what it’s like to be lost.

When I found out that I’d won this award and that there was a cash prize, I consulted my sister Catherine about what I should do with this money. Catherine is a therapist for children in the Jacksonville, Florida school district. She helps children who are lost, of which there are many in many different ways, and in addition to her job, she volunteers at a camp that operates in association with Northeast Florida Community Hospice. It’s a weekend-long camp for young people between the ages of 7 and 17 who are bereaved. Kids who’ve lost a parent or a sibling or loved one of some kind go to this camp and take part in activities to help them remember those they’ve lost, acknowledge their own grief, and take steps toward healing. This camp has the coolest name ever: Camp Healing Powers. It is a program that is about loss but also about hope. With Fire, I was trying to say something about loss and being lost, about grief, and about hope and finding yourself, and choosing life, and that’s why I’ve decided to donate the money I’m receiving today to Camp Healing Powers.

I want to close today with a heartfelt thank you to a few people without whom my book would have been nothing and gone nowhere: my wonderful editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, Kathy Dawson; my wonderful agent, Faye Bender; and my team at Penguin who did such a beautiful job getting this book out into the world and who’ve shown me so much support. I’d also like to thank a few people without whom I would be nothing: my sisters Catherine and Dorothy, and my mother and father, Nedda and Mike Cashore. I’ve had the opportunity to say this before in Q&As and in interviews, but I’ve never had the opportunity, before today, to say it while my parents are present: when I’m feeling discouraged with my writing and just want to give up because it’s too hard, I channel my mother. And when I’m terrified, I channel my father. I believe that if it weren’t for the example of my mother’s particular brand of strength, I never would have finished a book and I never would have tried to get it published. And if it weren’t for the example of my father’s particular brand of strength, I never would have been able to handle the tumult when getting that first book deal took my life and shook it around and turned it upside down. I am so very lucky to have them.

One more big thank you to the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee. And finally, thank you to all of you in the audience for being here today to celebrate my book with me!

Geographic Maps for the Books

If you're an audiobooker, the maps from the books, both by Jeffery C. Mathison, might be helpful! Click on a map to make it bigger.


The Seven Kingdoms (Graceling)




The Dells and Pikkia (Fire)

News

  • In Norway, my books will be published by Cappelen Damm. (6/3/13)
  • Bitterblue is a number one bestseller in Sweden! Thank you, dear Swedish readers, and thank you to the wonderful people at Semic! (5/22/13)
  • Happy news from Sweden: Bitterblue is a bestseller there. Many thanks to my devoted Swedish readers! (4/4/13)
  • Fire has been named a YALSA 2013 Popular Paperback for Young Adults, on the "Boarding Schools to Summer Camps: Leaving Home to Find Yourself" list. I knew that scene where I sent Fire to summer camp would pay off someday. (2/7/13)
  •  Bitterblue has been named to the 2013 Rainbow List, which is a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. Thank you, GLBTRT, for this honor! (1/30/13)
  •  My Bulgarian publisher for the series will be EMAS-Vasilka Vancheva-Et. Yay! (1/21/13)
  • The New York Times has mysteriously changed its mind and decided my books are a series after all; they can now be found on the series bestseller list.
  • Just popping in on May 12, 2012 to confess that I've been terrible at updating the news. There's just been too much of it, and I've been busy with other things. Bitterblue is premiering on the New York Times bestseller list at #2 and the Indie bestseller list at #1; there are lots of reviews I haven't gotten around to adding to my review page yet; check out the cool site Penguin created for my books, http://gracelingrealm.com/. Now that the tour is over, I'll hope to start updating a few newsy things on the blog. Thanks for your patience! (5/12/12)
    • The publisher Čarobna Knjiga in Serbia will publish my books -- and make for my 30th foreign language. Yay! (2/18/11)
    • In Japan, Graceling will be published by Hayakawa. I'm thrilled. :o) (2/2/11)
    • The news page has been quiet for a while, but here's a nice addition: in Germany, Fire (Die Flammende) has debuted on the Spiegel adult hardcover bestseller list. Thank you so much to my German readers! (1/20/11)
    • In China, my books will be published by Yongzheng. (6/28/10)
    • Fire has been nominated for the 2010-2011 New Hampshire Flume Award, New Hampshire’s teen choice award program sponsored by the New Hampshire State Library. (5/20/10)
    • Fire has been nominated for the 2010-2011 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Book Award List. Thanks to my native state ^_^. (5/18/10)
    • Fire has been selected for the 2010 Pennsylvania School Library Association’s Young Adult Top Forty (or so) reading list for fiction. Thanks, PSLA! (5/17/10)
    • 25 is a nice number. Graceling is in its 25th week on the New York Times Best Sellers List! (5/1/10)
    • Fire is a YALSA 2010 Teens’ Top Ten Nomination. Readers across the country, ages twelve to eighteen, will vote online for their favorite titles between August 23 and September 17; the winners will be announced in a webcast featuring WWE Superstars and Divas during Teen Read Week. Thanks, YALSA! (4/17/10)
    • Fire has been named one of Booklist's “Top 10 SF/Fantasy Titles for Youth” (featured in the May 15 issue). (4/17/10)
    • In Croatia, I will be published by Algoritam. (4/3/10)
    • I am in the middle of a (long!) European book tour, with events and interviews in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. (4/3/10)
    • Fire has been named to the 2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices list. Thank you, CCBC! (3/1/10)
    • Fire has been chosen as one of 16 contenders for the 2010 School Library Journal Battle of the Books. Check out the other battling books and the distinguished judges here. (2/22/10)
    • Fire is the winner of the Cybil in the category of YA Fantasy and Science Fiction. Thank you to the YA F/SF panel for giving me such good news on Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day! :D (2/14/10)
    • I now have a Hungarian publisher. Thank you, Könyvmolyképző Kiadó, for becoming my publisher in my twenty-fifth foreign territory! (2/4/10)
    • Graceling continues to astonish me by hanging on to the NYT best seller list, now for 17 weeks. (1/31/10)
    • Fire has been selected as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2009. Thanks, CPL! (1/8/10)
    • The latest Horn Book is out and includes my article, "Hot Dog, Katsa!", which was adapted from the speech I gave at the 2009 Summer Institute at the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College (my grad school alma mater). The article is in the print magazine, of course, but it's also online. It's about the (frustrating) rules the writer encounters when writing fantasy. (1/4/10)
    • Both Fire and Graceling have been hanging out together on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for the past couple of months. (1/1/10)
    • Fire is a Cybils finalist in the YA Fantasy/SF category! Thanks, Cybils judges, and congratulations to all the nominees! (1/1/10)
    • Just a quick update re: the NYT Best Seller list: Graceling is enjoying its 13th week on the list. (1/1/10)
    • Graceling is holding strong on the NYT Best Seller list. I think I'm going to stop posting updates about this, though, because it's starting to stress me out. :o) (11/23/09)
    • Fire is a Booklist Editors' Choice for 2009. (11/18/09)
    • I've reorganized my Contacts, Info, and Credits page in an attempt to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for; info about foreign release dates and purchasing signed copies is now closer to the top. (11/18/09)
    • Both books continue to hang onto the New York Times Best Seller List by the skin of their teeth! :o) (11/15/09)
    • Graceling is now in its 5th week on the New York Times Best Seller List, and Fire in its 4th. Continued thanks to booksellers and book buyers! (11/7/09)
    • In Russia, my books will be published by AST. (11/5/09)
    • Both Graceling and Fire are holding strong on the New York Times Best Seller List. Thank you, readers :o) (11/1/09)
    • Check out the radio show The Author Hour on VoiceAmerica on Thursday, October 22, at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific, to hear interviews with Diana Gabaldon, Shannon Hale, Meg Cabot, and me. Go here to listen! (The interview will be available online after the show airs.) (10/21/09)
    • Both Fire and Graceling are on the Indie Bestsellers list at indiebound.org for the week ending October 11, 2009. Thank you, indies, and all those who buy indie! :o) (10/20/09)
    • I've set up an arrangement with my new local indie, Harvard Bookstore, for anyone who wants to purchase signed/personalized copies of the books online. Please see my Contacts, Info, and Credits page for instructions (about half-way down). (10/18/09)
    • Fire has premiered on the New York Times children's best seller list at #4 for the week ending October 10, and Graceling is back on the paperback list at #4. Thank you to my fans! (10/14/09)
    • Fire releases today in the USA and Canada and my tour begins. (10/5/09)
    • I now have a Vietnamese publisher. Thank you, Nhã Nam! (9/28/09)
    • My October '09 tour schedule for the release of Fire is now finalized. See my Appearance Schedule page. Please note that most of my appearances will be school events, not open to the public. Public events are in red. (9/22/09)
    • I now have a Turkish publisher. Thank you to Pegasus Publishment for taking on my books and for making Turkey my twentieth foreign territory! (9/22/09)

    *******

    In an attempt to keep my blog posts uncluttered, I began this News page on 9/22/09. All book news from 9/22/09 on is announced here. All book news prior to 9/22/09 is incorporated into blog posts.

    Awards and Reviews

    Praise for Bitterblue

    A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book.
    A New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Book of the Year
    A Kirkus Reviews' Best Book of 2012.
    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012.
    A 2012 Blue Ribbon by the BCCB.
    A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best.
    On the the 2013 Rainbow List.
    One of YALSA's 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults.
    A Capitol Choices noteworthy title for teens.
    A nominee for YALSA's 2013 Teens' Top Ten.
    One of the CCBC's Choices 2013.
    A Boston Authors Club Highly Recommended Book.
    A New York Times and a Publishers Weekly best seller.


    "Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both. Thrillingly imagined and beautifully executed, "Bitterblue" stands as a splendid contribution in long literary tradition." -- The New York Times Book Review

    "Gorgeous, textured prose is filled with images of strange beauty and restrained horror. It propels an intricate narrative dense with subplots and rich in characters familiar and new. Weaving them together are all the lies: conspiracies and ciphers, fakes and false testimony, spies and thieves, disguises and deceptions, mazes and puzzles. They are lies spun from greed, shame, strategy, fear, duty—even kindness. And it is Bitterblue who, trapped in this net of deceit, must draw upon all her courage, cleverness and ferocious compassion to reveal the truth—and to care for those it shatters. Devastating and heartbreaking... those willing to take the risk will—like Bitterblue—achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning." -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews

    "A story that transcends the genre with its emotional and philosophical weight." -- Starred, BCCB

     "Readers will gallop through [Bitterblue], eager to catch up on beloved characters and hopeful that the Seven Kingdoms can at last find peace. There are astonishing and sometimes heartbreaking discoveries...Buy all three volumes, in multiple copies." -- Starred, VOYA

     "Cashore's imagined world is brilliantly detailed and brimming with vibrant and dynamic characters." -- Starred, School Library Journal

    "Fans of...intricate political fantasies will relish this novel of palace intrigue." -- Starred, Publishers Weekly

     
     
    Praise for Fire

    Winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.
    Winner of the Cybil in the category of YA Fantasy and Science Fiction.
    A Junior Library Guild Selection.
    An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
    A Kirkus Best YA Book of 2009. (PDF)
    A 2009 Booklist Editors' Choice.
    One of Booklist's “Top 10 SF/Fantasy Titles for Youth.”
    A YALSA 2010 Teens’ Top Ten Nomination. (PDF)
    A Washington Post Best Kid's Book of the Year.
    A Seattle Times Best YA Book of 2009.
    On the Winter 2010 Indie Next Kid's List.
    On the 2010 CCBC Choices list.
    A New York Times and a Publishers Weekly best seller.


    "Cashore’s prose has matured, growing piercing and elegant.... The romance... is tenderly drawn and satisfyingly slow to develop.... political machinations, physical peril, and inventive world-building.... this stand-alone prequel surpasses Cashore’s debut and paves the way for further exploration of a world in which readers will happily immerse themselves." -- Starred, The Horn Book Magazine

    "[T]he subtle intrigues of palace plots and even the sickening horrors of open warfare are vehicles to total immersion into Fire’s character.... Fire ... tentatively, tenderly, passionately falls in love with a family, a city, a kingdom, with the very contradictions that make them human—and, at the last, with her own place among them. Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious." -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews

    "[R]eaders can enjoy this novel without having read Graceling.... and enjoy it they will, with its vivid storytelling, strongly realized alternate world, well-drawn characters, convincing fantasy elements, gripping adventure scenes, and memorable love story." -- Starred, Booklist

    "[R]eaders will fall in love with [Fire].... More adult in tone than Graceling, this marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it." -- Starred, School Library Journal

    "[I]ts themes—embracing your talents and moving out of your parents' shadow—are similar [to those of Graceling], as is the absorbing quality of Cashore's prose.... Many twists propel the action.... tension that keeps the pages turning." -- Starred, Publishers Weekly

    "Cashore is that rare gifted writer who can give a fantasy novel real depth.... One of the things Cashore does beautifully in Fire is to examine the workings of desire -- and not always as it relates to sex.... Having created an exaggeration of female experience in Fire's monster form, Cashore can be brutally honest about the realities of girls' lives." -- Los Angeles Times

    "There aren’t enough words to describe how awesome this book is." -- Top Pick, Gold Star, Romantic Times

    "
    This elegantly written prequel to the acclaimed "Graceling" blazes with the questions of young adulthood: Who am I? How do I stand in relation to my parents? What choices will define my life? Seeing those concerns played out by Fire... and a host of memorable minor characters proves as compelling as the richly detailed medieval backdrop, the tension between battling lords and the mysterious presence of [a] strange-eyed... character common to both novels." -- The Washington Post

    "As a fantasy writer, Cashore sets herself apart with a passionate descriptive style... The book is also commendably realistic --almost cynical -- about romance... Cashore can also write action scenes... a good addition to the young adult bookshelf." -- The New York Times Book Review

    "The bold adventure, a realistic fantasy world, well-rounded characters, a strong female protagonist, and superb writing make Fire a compelling read and one sure to win many honors." -- Starred, Library Media Connections



    Praise for Graceling
     
    Winner of the SIBA Book Award in the YA category.
    Shortlisted for the ALA's William C. Morris Award.
    A finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (the SFWA's award for YA given concurrently with the Nebulas).
    An Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book in the category of Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book.
    A Cybils finalist in the category of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
    A finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.
    An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
    On the 2009 Amelia Bloomer List (Recommended Feminist Literature for Birth through 18).
    On the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 2009 Blue Ribbon list.
    A New York Times and a Publishers Weekly best seller.


    "[An] eccentric and absorbing first novel.... [Katsa] overturns every biological reality and cultural stereotype of feminine weakness, which is a large part of her charm. She is the girl's dream of female power unloosed.... Cashore plays with the idea of awkwardness, how at a certain age gifts and talents are burdens, how they make it impossible to feel comfortable in the world.... somehow in all of this struggle and resistance Cashore offers an acute portrayal of sexual awakening: ambivalent, rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns.... "Graceling"... offers a perfect parable of adolescence, as its characters struggle with turbulent emotions they must learn to control.... The teenage characters in this novel, like some we may know in life, grow into their graces. They realize that their monstrous individuality is not so monstrous after all." -- The New York Times Book Review

    "An assured fantasy debut.... Katsa is an ideal adolescent heroine, simultaneously confident of her strengths yet unsure of her place in the world. Every character is crafted with the same meticulous devotion to human comprehensibility.... In a tale filled with graphic violence and subtle heartbreak, gentle passion and savage kindness, matter-of-fact heroics and bleak beauty, no defeat is ever total and no triumph comes without cost. Grace-full, in every sense." -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews

    "[The] exquisitely drawn romance... will slake the thirst of Twilight fans, but one measure of this novel’s achievements lies in its broad appeal. Tamora Pierce fans will embrace the take-charge heroine; there’s also enough political intrigue to recommend it to readers of Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia trilogy. And while adult readers, too, will enjoy the author’s originality, the writing is perfectly pitched at teens struggling to put their own talents to good use. With this riveting debut, Cashore has set the bar exceedingly high." -- Starred, Publisher's Weekly

    "Cashore treats readers to compelling and eminently likable characters and a story that draws them in from the first paragraph.... Cashore's style is exemplary.... This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled." -- Starred, School Library Journal

    "Cashore... creates believable characters with enough depth, subtlety, and experience to satisfy older readers.... An impressive first novel. -- Starred, Booklist

    "With a butt-kicking but emotionally vulnerable heroine, [Graceling] should appeal to fans of recent girl-power urban fantasies as well as readers who’ve graduated from Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series." -- The Horn Book Magazine

    My Cover Gallery

    I update this as new covers come in. Click on any image to enlarge it! Please see my Contacts, Info, and Credits page for further information about my publishers.


    Graceling, Harcourt Children's Books, and Fire and Bitterblue, Dial Books for Young Readers; U.S. and Canada editions.



    Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue, and the Bitterblue mass market edition; Gollancz; U.K., Australia, and New Zealand adult editions.



    Graceling and Fire; Carlsen; German language young adult editions.



    Graceling; Carlsen; German language Large Print young adult edition.












    Graceling and Fire; Hachette Jeunesse; French language young adult editions.



    Graceling; Hayakawa; Japanese language edition.












    Graceling, Volume 1 and Volume 2; Tellerup; Danish language edition.



    Graceling reprint and Fire; Tellerup; Danish language editions.


    Graceling; WSOY; Finnish language edition.



    Graceling and Fire; Nasza Ksiegarnia; Polish language edition.



    Graceling and Fire; Carobna knjiga; Serbian language editions



    Graceling and Fire; Orbit-Livre de Poche; French language mass market paperback adult pocket editions.



    Graceling
    , Fire, and Bitterblue; Gaea Books; Complex Chinese characters editions in Taiwan.


    Graceling; Yongzheng; Simplified Chinese edition.



    Graceling
    and Fire; Clipper Large Print; U.K. Large Print editions.


    Graceling and Fire; Gramedia Pustaka Utama; Indonesian language editions.


    Graceling; Alfaguara; Portuguese language edition (in Portugal).



    Graceling; Emas Publishing; Bulgarian language edition.


    Graceling; RAO; Romanian language edition.


    Graceling ; Algoritam; Croatian language edition.


    Graceling and Fire; Gollancz YA; U.K., Australia, and New Zealand young adult editions.



    Graceling
    ; Moonhak Soochup Publishing; Korean language edition.



    Graceling
    , Fire, and Bittterblue; Orbit France; French language adult editions.


    Graceling and Fire; Grup62; Catalan language editions.



    Graceling and Fire; Roca; Spanish language editions (Castillan).



    Graceling; Moon; Dutch language young adult and adult edition, respectively.



    Graceling
    and Fire; De Agostini; Italian language editions.



    Graceling; Ediposs; Czech language and Slovak language edition, respectively.



    Graceling; Könyvmolyképző Kiadó; Hungarian language edition.



    Graceling, young adult and adult editions, respectively, Fire, and Bitterblue; Semic; Swedish language editions.



    Graceling; Rocco; Portuguese language edition (in Brazil).



    Graceling and Fire; Nokhook; Thai language editions.


    Graceling; Kinneret Zmora; Hebrew language edition.