Novel Information (Taken from Wikipedia)
Country: United States
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Narration: Third Person
Graceling is unique in that Kristin has found a way to create superheroes in a fantasy setting. That’s the easiest way I can describe it. Gracelings are people who have a Grace. These graces can range from improving fighting, archery, seeing at night, being able to sense a person, reading minds, being able to tell when a storm is going to hit, improved swimming and everything in between. They are easily distinguishable by their multi-coloured eyes, although every Graceling has a different pairing of eyes.
The novel’s central character Katsa is struggling with her grace and trying to find a way to be her own person and use her grace for her own desires and not just for her King. She has already started her transformation but it isn’t until she meets another Graceling who helps her see the world and herself through different eyes, that she can truly become the person she desires to be.
The book is well written and flows at a comfortable speed. There were many plot points that I found predictable, but may not be to the average reader, and certainly didn’t spoil or ruin the story for me because it never took the characters long to catch up to what I had already realized. There was only one moment (towards the end) that I didn’t forsee what had happened, and to be honest, I’m not sure how Katsa figured it out, and how exactly it happened (because I doubt how it happened is actually possible). I also don’t think it was necessary… but I can understand why Kristin made that choice. Nonetheless it didn’t deter my enjoyment by any means.
I found that the concept of the Gracelings to be rather unique and was pleased to watch Katsa’s growth throughout the book.She is a strong female protagonist who (despite falling in love) keeps a level head and remains logical throughout the book. I cannot tell you how refreshing that is to find. Even when she fears to leave her lover behind, she intends to because logically that is what matters. So, bravo Kristin for making a female protagonist who doesn’t lose her mind just because she’s in love.
One of the downsides for me, was the speediness of Katsa’s romance. It just seemed to sudden, with no real confusion for Katsa in regards to her feelings as they slowly start to ebb. To me it felt like a whirlwind romance that was deep and meaningful as though they’d known each other for years. Again, this was certainly not a deterrent for me, just something that I noticed as I read.
Overall, I enjoyed Graceling a lot, and although I’m not ready to jump into Bitterblue or Fire just yet, Bitterblue (a vital character in Graceling) is a book I will put on my TBR list for sure.