Review Ð Graceling 102

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GracelingWith words alone With elegant evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world a death defying adventure and a heart racing romance that will consume you hold you captive and leave you wanting. When a monster stopped behaving like a monster did it stop being a monster Did it become something else This is one of my most reread books of all time and it was such a big influence on both what I write and what I love to read and I love and appreciate it every time I think this book is a little bit misunderstood sometimes Graceling opens as Katsa a character graced with the skill to kill people—literally actually murder them—puts a group of guards out cold rather than killing them while trying to rescue a falsely imprisoned old man She then returns to her palace where she is thought of and treated as a weapon for a cruel king She thinks of herself as a dog and a brute and an idiot until she and a new friend move to track down the answers to a mystery dogging a nearby kingdom Katsa prizes her mind it is the only she has ever had to herself One of the first things we learn of her is her hatred for mind readers and while this serves a plot purpose it also ties in well with her other fears Her body and power has for so long been Randa’s as a weapon But she is not a weapon Though Katsa could and would kill the bad guy to survive a horror movie she also does the right thing or tries She cares for other people in her own stubborn and angry way To move anywhere beyond her own self image she must go from thinking of herself as a killer a monster a weapon to thinking of herself as a justice seeker She must find love Po and allow herself to care for those around her Bitterblue And she must go from thinking of her talent as a curse to thinking of it as a tool The graces are a neutral element—both good and bad depending on their useThe thing about the climax of Katsa's character arc is that it isn’t defined by violence it’s defined by Katsa regaining power over her mind view spoilerIt isn’t a great feat that she kills; we know all along that she can kill anyone she wants It is the fact that she kills someone as he tries to control her mind that is so important Her conflict is never about her physical power but about her love for Bitterblue and Po And she wrests back mental control not through her grace but through her love for other people hide spoiler

Kristin Cashore ¾ 2 Read

Ng she is forced to work as the king’s thug She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms. What I think about when I hear the namePo Po the Panda Po from Telletubbies A crazy guy like Edgar Allen Poe PooKatsa Ketchup Mutant KatnissRor Roar I'm a T RexTealiff Tea LeafSkye Skype A modern name which you will NOT find in a medieval placeKing Randa Ranting Panda King Ranting PandaDrowden Drowsy DrowningThigpen Pig pen Thinking penLeck Lick Peck Neck Smack Some other variationLienid An insult Hey you LienidBy the way Po's real name is Greening Grandemalion Great at least its not Yellowing Grandemalion or Purpling Grandemalion or something stupid like that That would sound really weird unlike Greening Grandemalion which is a name someone would normally give to their child YeahIf you have any suggestions about what the names from Graceling sound like feel free to put it in the commentsNote Next up is the review which is very thorough about the issues of Graceling's worldbuilding This is going to take a while but stay with me Thanks Actual Rating 25 starsWhen reviewers criticize Graceling they often complain about the view on feminism I think enough has been said about that so for detailed reviews about that issue I recommend Amanda's review and Tatiana's reviewHowever this isn't Graceling's only flaw The other big problem is the black and white world buildingWorld of Graceling Graceling is set in a european ish medieval land with horses taverns kings castles and anything else you would except to find in such a place The land is divided into seven kingdoms Lienid the island kingdom Monsea a kingdom closed off by the mountains Middluns the middle kingdom and Nander Estill Sunder Wester which surround Middluns on the North East South and West side respectively See what Cashore did there Another aspect is the Graced; some people are born with special abilities called Graces such as mind reading excellent swimming skills killing etc There is great prejudice against the Graced except in Lienid and one can tell if another person is Graced if the person's eyes are mismatched colors Random comment One of my friends has eyes like this It's a condition called heterochromia iridum But sadly my friend has no superpowers AnywaysI think we can all agree that European medieval worlds are definitely overdone; nearly every epic fantasy or high fantasy is set in one However authors can still make them fresh if they add complexity to them with new aspects or intriguing historyExamples of Fresh Intriguing WorldsFor example in Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms the generic fantasy world is made fresh by complex struggles between Gray Wolf ueens Clan and Wizards There is a well developed and uniue culture in the world stemming from the struggles between Clan and Wizards and the history is complex and believableAnother example is The Well Between the Worlds It is a retelling of the King Arthur tale set in a medieval world but adds the elements of the Wells the sinking of Lyonnesse and industrialization to make a breathtakingly fresh and original world So what's the matter with Graceling's worldWhy Graceling's World building Simply Isn't Good EnoughFirst off there are only a few fresh aspects of this world1 The idea of the Graced2 Some cultural aspects of the Lienid like the gold jewelry Po's tattoos and the ringinheritance thingand that's pretty much it But there's got to be Anything Tell me is thereA religion NoHistory Like references to why the kingdoms are how they are etc NopeMythologylegendsstories about old heroes Graced etc NoUniue cultural aspects NoneAnything that separates the world of Graceling from other fantasies I'm sorry but there is other than the Graced nothing original hereOkay okay we get it Nothing new here But sometimes generic fantasy worlds are complex There are complex issues complex characters and complex motivations which make up for the lack of originality In fact a world lacking new ideas sometimes portrays old ideas in a new light What about Graceling Is there any complexityLack of complexity in GracelingPart One The Inhabitants of the worldEEEEEEVIL PEOPLE The villain view spoilerKing Leck hide spoiler

Characters Graceling

Review Ð Graceling 102 Î Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill As niece of the king she should be able to live a life of privilege but Graced as she is with killing she is forced to work as the king’s thug She never expects to fall in lovKatsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight she’s a Graceling one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill As niece of the king she should be able to live a life of privilege but Graced as she is with killi. Graceling by Kristin Cashore follows in a burgeoning market for strong female charactersKatsa is much like Katniss from The Hunger Games in her naive perception of the world her coldness and tendency towards pragmatic practicality She is similar to Xhex from the Black Dagger Brotherhood in her disgust of all things feminine The story is well written with engaging fun characters Katsa is fun to read about The plot may be a little predictable at times but it did throw me a curve ball toward the end The romance is lovely between Katsa and Po I take exception though to the message that this book sends It is the same message I am reading over and over again in current literatureFrom Bella Swan who looks down on girls who like shopping to Xhex who must be wrestled into a dress and who sees all signs of emotion as feminine weakness and now Katsa who refuses to marry or have children and who despises dresses and long hairMessage to authors It is not nice dresses and pretty hair and an ability to be weepy on occasion that is the cause for the many ineuality issues that women face Putting a woman in pants does not change how the world perceives her It doesn't suddenly make her stronger and better than the woman in the dress who likes jeweleryYour character does not suddenly become the beacon of the feminist movement because she doesn't like dresses So sick of reading about strong independent female characters who don't like dresses and spend most of the novel putting down almost every other female character as weak and pathetic