Friday, 6 February 2015

Graceling review

The Graceling series is a series that I have been always been excited to read, and late last year I bought all three books in the series. Unfortunately, all three copies are completely different from one another. I have a large print Graceling. A normal sized Fire, and then a HUGE hardcover of Bitterblue, so none of them match, which everyone knows is a huge inconvenience if you like your shelves looking neat or level.

As a fan of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, I was told I would enjoy this book as much as those. And obviously that made me hugely excited to finally start the series.
If I'm totally honest with my self, I really didn't enjoy Graceling as much as I was hoping.
The whole of idea of peoples 'Grace's' was really interesting and I did enjoy those aspects of the book, but I found the whole story didn't completely engage me.
I would like to put the reason behind why I didn't like it so much to being in a reading slump, and yet, even in peak reading conditions, I don't feel my thoughts would of been much different.
The plot was ok and the pacing wasn't a problem. I was just wishing for a little more to happen. The majority of the book is people camping in woods, and there is only so much you can read about setting endless fires and catching endless fish.

The entire conflict of the book is solved within two sentences. I thought perhaps I'd skipped a couple of pages by accident.
But nope, one minute Katsa is under the King's influence, then BAM, she throws a knife and he's dead.

On the subject of Katsa. I can honestly, that though I wanted more from the book as a whole, Katsa was it's defining trait. She carried the book when I lost interest, and I actually think she may be one of my new favourite characters.
Katsa is deemed 'cold' and a 'killer' because of her Grace. But that isn't true, and I found myself instantly taken with her.
Katsa's adamant nature, towards marriage, children and 'belonging to someone' was delightfully refreshing and something I could relate too immensely.
Katsa is utterly fierce and loyal and we see her transition from 'Randa's dog' and 'Lady Killer' to a woman capable of controlling her own choices and life.
She was an absolute delight to read.

Katsa and Po's 'relationship' is something a lot of people have taken issue with. But I found it soothing to have no insta-love and love triangles.
People have criticized Cashore's portrayal of Katsa not wanting any commitment, and yet having a physical relationship with Po, for not wanting to lose any of her newly found freedom. And I praise her for it.
Katsa could almost be classed as an aromantic. And if she were, it is still acceptable to love someone without being an a particularly romantic relationship.
I feel Katsa, and everything she stands for, and every stereotypical protagonist she stands against is this book defining 'grace.' See what I did there. That was a bad joke.

The supporting characters were placed and characterized quite perfectly and I loved almost everyone.

I will certainly continue with the Graceling series, yet at more of a hesitant rate.

Though I don't think this book deserve 3 stars, I also don't feel it warrants 4.

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