Liz's Reviews > Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
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Nov 27, 09

bookshelves: action-adventure-etc, 2009, sci-fi-fantasy-etc, library-owns-or-i-do-to-read, ya, 2010
Recommended for: mature readers
read count: 1

BEFORE READING: Okay, due to a couple of reviews I read, I had no intention of reading this, but it keeps popping up as a 'readers who read this book also read...' choice, so I figured, what the heck? I may as well make up my own mind...

Tee-hee. The back of the book jacket describes it as 'riviting'. A comment from Publisher's Weekly, no less.

AFTER READING: Wow. I was expecting a mediocre attempt, but this was actually pretty good. The story was well-done, the fight scenes were detailed enough without being boring, the heroine was unlike any I've ever read before while still keeping sympathetic points, AND she doesn't become a wimp at the end of the book... Very good. And it's a fantasy written in a modern-influenced setting (I'm not just talking about the marriage views), which was interesting without going horribly wrong. Katsa's power didn't seem like a cop-out to me, because she still turned out to be weak in another way. But Po seems to have gotten the short straw in the end, and I'm not really into the idea that a feminist book has to have the guy shortchanged in some way.

It sort of felt like the second half of the book was an abrupt switch--all of a sudden, the focus is on Princess Bitterblue. She kind of came out of nowhere, though it was understandable considering the dramatic way they ended up taking care of her. Still could have been handled a little better, though. The writing style was quite... well, I suppose you'd term it 'classic' but Cashore dropped her guard every so often and wrote 'fine' or 'a bit', which was a little jarring.

When Katsa and Po decide to become lovers rather than marry, I was astonished that Cashore didn't explore how that affected Po politically. There was also no absolute definition of why the Gracelings were reviled (though enough was implied), or much about Katsa's family. The convenient plant that renders you sterile was, well, convenient.

The psychology of Katsa, having killed so many people, was never fully developed either. I was a little disappointed.

Moral issues... Marriage is portrayed as bondage rather than an expression of love. .I mean, WHAT? Katsa's views on it don't change, and I couldn't quite tell whether she was a mouthpiece or if it was just a character trait. This was a major issue for me. I really wanted them to get married. And they didn't.

And there are the many references to innapropriate treatment of young girls. Later on, a certain father is implied to be sexually interested in his young daughter, which was sick and just not needed.

In conclusion, I have a lot to say about its bad side, but it only loses one star though, because I enjoyed it so much. But, if you're a parent, be careful whom you let read this. The 'mature readers' recommendation isn't just there for decoration.
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Comments (showing 1-36 of 36) (36 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I've heard raves on Graceling all over. I only decide not to read a book, because some of those negative reviews describe a plot line I may not enjoy. Then those books go in this nice list.


message 2: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz The thing is, there was something about Katsa and Po having sex or not having sex because of the whole feminism thing, and there's a quote from Tamora Pierce about how she loves it. And TP's gotten way too preachy for my taste. Gosh, I hope she doesn't ruin the Maura series.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

*Fingers Crossed*


message 4: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz DON'T CROSS BOTH OF THEM!!!! THAT CURSES IT!!!!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

NOOOO!!!


message 6: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz NOOOOOO!!!! x 2!!!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

*Finger Crossed*


message 8: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Thankyou.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

No problem. But I'm still going to end up using both fingers, with other things. Old habits die hard.


message 10: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Just braid your hair and then your hair's crossed, too. I think as long as it's an odd number, it's okay.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Odd, I need to catch up on my superstitions.


message 12: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I made it up.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Odd, I need to catch up on your superstitions.


message 14: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I made those up as well.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)




message 16: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz FINISHED!


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 29, 2009 01:24AM) (new)

Cool. I'll read you're review when I'm coherent. Exaustion doesn't make for good reading. zzz


message 18: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz fair enough...


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

"though it was understandable considering the dramatic way they ended up taking care of her."

"When Katsa and Po decide to become lovers rather than marry"


Gaspeth, thou revealed spoilers---eth. Although, it didn't really ruin anything. I actually want to read it now, if only to see some more of those names. Katsa and Po aren't really common names here.


message 20: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Actually, they aren't really spoilers.

And you want more names? Tealiff, Giddon, Leck, and Po's real name is Prince Greening Grandelsomething. Still no spoilers.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Greening Grandelsomething? Yeesh.


message 22: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Grandelmalion? Something like that. He's gorgeous.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Naturally.


message 24: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz personality, buddy, personality.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

It wouldn't matter if someone were the most beautiful eye candy in the world, if they are snobs, time spent with them is not time I'd be willing to spend.


message 26: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Oh, totally. I'd probably be just plain scared off by the handsome anyway :). As it happens, Po is handsome, but it's his personality that makes him gorgeous. That's what I meant.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Cool. :)

You'd be scared off? Me too. I'd probably hide.


message 28: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz And then throw rocks at him. only, that wouldn't work, because--ah, shoot. I can't tell you that because THAT happens to be a major spoiler.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Write it on a post-it somewhere, and tell me when I read and finish the book. Hehe.


message 30: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Lol. And then you can mark my review as 'liked' *hem hem*


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Oooh, nice review. *click*


message 32: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Lol I'll try to return the favour.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Did you see? Two people like it now...I wonder who the mysterious second clicker is... >.>


message 34: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz ooh! I feel loved.


Reilly "Later on, a certain father is implied to be sexually interested in his young daughter, which was sick and just not needed."

So because you find paedophilia distasteful it shouldn’t be used in stories. Don’t get me wrong, I think pedos are the sickest people in the world. But Leck’s implied paedophilia was important to the story. It was the reason everything happened, it’s a legit reason why Po and Katsa have to keep Bitterblue away from Leck, and it’s one of the reasons why he needs to be killed. Taking it out would take away the motivation for almost everything in the story.


message 36: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz That's true. I take it back. Let me rephrase: "Not needed or wanted in my head." :)


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