I'd just like to start out with saying that I loved this book. I recently finished Fire, and, as usual, I'm going to review the first book in the series. Actually, the two work as stand-alones, but I just love Kristin's books too much to stop reading them. The second book, Fire, which I just finished, takes place roughly 35 years before Graceling. Reading it first is slightly spoilery. Bitterblue, scheduled, according to goodreads.com, to come out on April 1st (I'm not sure how definite this is) is still being written and takes place 6 years after Graceling. Fire lived up to my expectations, and if you've read one you should definitely read the other.
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, and in her case horrifying, 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. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
There have been many great reviews for this book, and they're well-deserved. I may have mentioned this before, but often fantasy is plot- not character-driven. Here, much of what happens is Katsa and Po's own doing.
Katsa is a independent, fearsome and capable. Graceling is one of the rare reads that is slightly feminist. Meaning, when it comes to Katsa versus Po, she can beat him easily. Usually, the girl has to depend on the guy to help her, but not here.
You can see how Katsa and Po's relationship grows. That part is interesting. It was kind of obvious, but it came about in an interesting way. The way Po braves it and admits he loves her is just....intense. I'd say more on this topic, but that would be spoilery, so I'll just say that he knows that she feels the same.
Even before they officially fall in love, he's so protective over her, even when she is more capable than him. They're perfect together :) Her refusal to marry is just an interesting tidbit thrown in.
There are twists and turns along the way, and many problems the two have to face. Those are plot-driven, but the duo take care of them well. Many books have predictable endings. But Graceling had a perfect ending. My only complaint is that I didn't want it to end.
Overall, I loved it.
********** 10 stars. WHY AREN'T YOU READING THIS RIGHT NOW!?!?!?
Visit Kristin Cashore at her blog, This Is My Secret.
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Welcome! I'm Riv Re, teenager and aspiring author. I post Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Tuesdays are for book reviews; Thursdays are for a weekly meme called "Character Dolls," which showcases character depictions I made online; and on Sundays I just wing it.
This blog is for my writing misadventures, my reviews, ramblings, and rants. My favorite genre is fantasy, so expect a lot of the unusual.
Warning: I've got an awful sense of humor. Don't blame me if you keel up and die from reading the jokes I crack.
Notice: I hold no responsibility for any deaths caused by previously mentioned jokes.
Enjoy and happy reading!
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