Graceling (Review)


Tis Madelyn. All the stuff on here is reviews! I said I would put something not-review-like last weekend but it appears that I’ve lied, haha.

But here is my long overdue review of Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I read it through my last week of high school which was a week ago and I enjoyed it a lot.

Madelyn’s Sucky Plot Summary: In a fictional world of seven kingdoms, there are people who are born with “magic” powers essentially and they’re called Gracelings. They are distinguished by their heterochromia. And their powers can range from many things such as good cooking skills, horse grooming, or mind reading. But every Grace is different for everyone. There isn’t an identical grace. Katsa was born with the ability to kill or fight really well. She’s the niece of King Randa so she basically works for him to intimidate/punish anyone who crosses the king. But she also works a side job where she’s using her Grace for good. And while on one of the side job missions, she meets Po who is also graced with fighting but it’s a little different than hers. And from there, Katsa goes on a journey to find herself and the true story behind her Grace.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I enjoyed this book. I certainly did but at first, I didn’t like Katsa too much. She’s oblivious to so many obvious things around her that made me a little frustrated at points. And there were some other things that are now lost to me. But then I saw this Tumblr post that pointed out how dramatic Katsa was since whenever she enters a room, she flings open the doors and storms in. And from there, I took a step back and appreciated her more. It took a while but she was better to me by the end since I saw how she developed. She’s still hot headed but I came to love that about her since it makes her impulsive and everyone around her is like “Wait!”.

I really felt bad for her in the beginning when she was going over her sucky childhood of how she discovered her Grace. Essentially, she was being touched inappropriately by a sleezy distant cousin and she didn’t like that so by reflex, she smacks his nose up into his brain and kills him. Then her uncle basically uses her as his dog and verbally abuses her. And I was feeling it for her.

But I really enjoyed her character later on in the book. She’s very strong and a loyal friend. So loyal that she saves everyone because of herself even though she was in immense danger. And she’s an awesome feminist who sticks up for other girls and even teaches a young girl how to fight to protect herself. Katsa is pretty selfish. I think that whenever she and her friends are in danger, she thinks of the others first then herself.

“How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people – girls, women – went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.”

“You won’t even take your bow? Are you planning to throttle a moose with your bare hands, then?”
“I’ve a knife in my boot,” she said, and then wondered, for a moment, if she could throttle a moose with her bare hands.”

The plot was pretty lovely. I enjoyed the action scenes. I felt like I was there with them on their wild horse rides through the forests since it’s described so clearly of how fast Katsa pushes her horse, haha. I felt like the confrontation with the big villain in the story could’ve been longer but there was more of this emotional friendship/romance line to the end of story and it probably was good enough being that short. I am just used to books upon books of confrontation with this impossible villain so that might be why.

There was a lot of things that Katsa had to battle, mainly herself. But there was Randa too. So I was proud of her as she worked to overcome these things. It was enjoyable to watch her take these steps.

“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”

“Something caught in her throat at this second thanks, when she’d threatened him so brutally. When you’re a monster, she thought, you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.”

The romance in this was adorable. I love it. Po and Katsa are cute! Katsa is stronger than Po and wants to protect him and Po is totally fine with that. He lets her do her thing and he pulls his weight too. Their relationship is very equal. They are strong separate and together. They don’t need each other to be complete but they stay together since they can.

I don’t know if I made sense in this review since I am lacking sleep and my sleep schedule is very messed up but yes. I like Katsa by the end since she is a strong female character who doesn’t care for any gender roles which is awesome. I love the relationship of Katsa and Po since it’s emphasized how much of equals they are in the relationship. Friendship was a good theme in this book and I enjoyed the journey it took me on from Katsa forming a really good friendship with Po to have her overcome her fears and end up exploring a bit.

So yay. Good book. I recommend it! I’m out. i gotta pull myself together for this next review. Then I’m going back to my hometown (not really, I wish it was), Dauphin Island, then I’ll be back. Then something will be up…sometime in June, haha. Bye!


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