Unfortunately, I’ve been sick for the last few days, but it did give me the opportunity to finish a book that has been on my TBR for years – Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
To be honest, the first 70 pages were super tough to get through and on my scroll, through Goodreads, this seems to be a common complaint. I didn’t feel very connected to the story or to the characters but as soon as I pushed through I fell in love with them and flew through it in one sitting.
I ended up giving Graceling 4 out of 5 stars!
Katsa’s weird obsession with vanity
Now, this is a weird one to start off with but it sort of bothered me at the beginning of the book – Katsa (our MC) is super critical of vanity. At various points throughout the first few chapters, she denounces those who even wear jewelry. The whole thing feels slightly odd.
I think it’s because Katsa feels so unconnected with her own femininity that she thinks all vanity is terrible. In general, she’s not very self-aware and doesn’t consider what she looks like at all. Now, don’t get me wrong this isn’t a criticism of her! It’s just really weird that she hates jewelry so much…
Katsa doesn’t need to be married, she doesn’t have a maternal instinct and she doesn’t have the desire to settle down. Katsa is a fiercely independent and self-reliant woman. She can totally look after herself and gets really angry when people try to protect her. Would she be the same way if her Grace wasn’t being a total bad-ass survival expert?
Po is a valued equal
Giddon wanted her to bow down and accept marriage and babies as is the norm in this world. But as Katsa explains, she isn’t normal.
However, when she meets Po, she really does meet her match. He accepts that she wants to be independent and free and there isn’t any pressure for marriage or babies. She is able to remain completely herself. In my opinion, Po is both her intellectual and physical equal and even when the tables are turned near the end of the book her strength and understanding is lovely.
Po really does teache Katsa that it is possible to be in a relationship and remain true to herself. Whereas, Katsa teaches him how to accept his Grace and be himself, completely.
The plot was super powerful
After the first few chapters, the plot was fantastic – lots of movement and surprises along the way. Also, there was lots of character development, Katsa’s was my favourite – she learned that she is more than able to love another person and not totally lose herself along the way. It’s an amazing lesson for younger readers.