The idea of a historical setting within a historical setting is a unique one. The passion that Whitman has for both time period shows since tidbits ofThe idea of a historical setting within a historical setting is a unique one. The passion that Whitman has for both time period shows since tidbits of research is occasionally inserted.
The book had quite a bit of elements: fantasy, a dash of science fiction, adventure, and romance. However, I felt that some points in the story dragged on for a bit, especially parts where Addy/Matilda learns hawking. I understand Whitman loves the subject, and that the romance between the two love interests needed to be built, but there was almost nothing else driving the plot forward.
Lastly, I felt the main character, though showing tremendous growth, was a bit flat. She was rarely witty and her thoughts and dialogue only moved the plot forward instead of helping to shape her character. A big plus though was that Addy/Matilda was a very likable and relatable character....more
I must commend the imagination of Cashore. It was nice to hear a supernatural power called a Grace, each quite complex, instead of just relating it toI must commend the imagination of Cashore. It was nice to hear a supernatural power called a Grace, each quite complex, instead of just relating it to magic. However, the many themes covered in this book- falling in love with a prince, escaping an evil ruler while rescuing a princess, and medieval-like Kingdoms (With somewhat unoriginal names like Middluns, Sunder, Wester, etc.)- have been rehashed before. But, I'm getting ahead of myself....
In short, Graceling is about a girl, Katsa, with a Grace that is quite powerful, and many believe it is the Grace of Killing. She meets a prince who also happens to be Graced. The ever so romantically named Prince Po. Both characters are well developed and mature throughout the story, though I believe Po to be written more multi-faceted than Katsa. As guessed they fall in love.
I do enjoy how their relationship develops. They become intimate friends first and we, as readers, get to glimps how much each means to the other. I suppose I use the word "glimps" because when Katsa does realize, quite suddenly, that she is in love, they proceed to consummate the aforementioned love. Did I mention it all happens very quickly? On one page Katsa is head-strong and independent. A few pages later Po and Katsa are in bed.
After she realizes her love for him, the rest of the story heavily focuses on their feelings instead of the reasons why they feelings continue to develop. I also was a little ruffled by the sex, though not explicitly described, that seemingly is randomly thrown in their without driving the plot much or developing their relations further. Also, Katsa's reason for not marrying Po seems rather...feeble.
But other than that, and trying not to reveal too much, the book is quite original-though the Middle Age theme of the book is already a cliched theme in the fantasy world of literature- and imaginatively thought up.
In short, nothing explosively new and exciting but a decent book nonetheless....more