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Alright. Okay. So Graceling was a better book than Fire but generally, it wasn’t as impressive as I hoped to be. The first chapters were okay and I was actually flipping the pages like crazy. It was like being a house on fire where at the middle stage, everything went dull and gray.
There was so much potential that was wasted in this book. One, why did Cashore directed the heroes to go after Leck immediately when she could have created a twist along the way? And why did Randa—for his toughness and cruelty—just easily gave up on Katsa when he could have made efforts to make everyone’s life complicated? That would have been fun.
It’s just so hard to grasp that King Leck with his powerful grace was easily defeated. And it made him look like a warm up act. The story is poorly written like Cashore was in a hurry to be done with it. So yes, I also read the book without even bothering to stop and glorify how the story is unfolding. You can actually read the first chapters, skip the middle part and proceed to the ending. You will still understand it perfectly.
Despite my severe disappointment with this book, I am surprised to discover that I actually liked Po. He’s calm, focused, selfless and mature. Katsa’s okay but I didn’t like how she never overcame her fear of marriage. What’s up with Cashore with this one?
And Leck, the villain, was actually quite scary in Fire (the very first chapter that is). But in Graceling, he had lost that glory. I wish I had read more of him, to know him and to know what really pushed him to become evil. In Graceling, he only appeared near the end and was killed immediately. *sighs* I mean, come on!
Dialogues and Interactions
Dialogues and interactions weren’t really Cashore’s strongest points. Actually, looking back at the two books, I couldn’t seem to remember funny moments or exceptionally intense moments that would actually make your heart ache. I can’t even feel a lot of chemistry or be overwhelmed by Katsa and Po’s love for each other. There are books out there that even without the heroine and hero being together, you can still feel the love, the intensity of emotions that your heart will just cry and ache for them. Instead of this happening, I am merely annoyed of the fact that Katsa has to reiterate again and again that she doesn’t like marriage. And Po has choice whether to take it or leave it. Baahh!
And what about Bitteblue? She wasn’t a good actress. I can’t feel her loss. Perhaps I’m blind but I can’t see her agony of losing her mother. Yes, she was tough but it was hard to relate to her. The way she acted, it’s like she didn’t just lost the most important person in her life.