My review for Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue will be going up tomorrow, but I just realized that I never posted anything about Graceling and Fire. I’m kind of feeling picky about having all the books on the blog, so here are some quick thoughts on each book:
Graceling – What better way to be introduced to the Graceling world than with a character who has been Graced to kill? It would have been so easy to make her a ruthless killing machine, but Kristin Cashore never takes the easy way out with her characters. Katsa, though she follows through on her uncle’s orders, does not thirst for blood on her hands. She loathes being used in her uncle’s games, but it isn’t until Po arrives on the scene that her rebellion begins.
It was the easiest thing ever to fall into the world Kristin Cashore created. I thought the idea of Graces was so interesting — more so when some were so mysterious or when Cashore threw in a surprise or two about them (ahem, Po). Her characters were so complex and this was only confirmed as I read through the rest of the installments in the series. It all ties together and it is so, so great.
Fire – This is definitely my favorite of the three books in the Graceling Realms series. After having loved Graceling, I was a little wary that Fire would revolve around another set of characters, in a completely different time period and location. I was sure that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But I was wrong!
I loved Katsa, but there was always a degree of distance from her for me. With Fire, my liking to her was almost immediate. As the last human monster, Fire has the ability to control minds and, in addition to that, those around her find her alluring and fall into want of her. It was fascinating to see Fire navigate through her journey of self-discovery and decide between right and wrong. Her past, as disturbing as it may have been with Cansrel, proved her goodness because she could have easily been swayed in another direction.
Always the sucker for a good romance, I really admired the way Kristin Cashore handled these storylines in both Graceling and Fire. It was never the focus, and it never overwhelmed the books, but in both cases it was a natural progression for the characters involved.
Graceling and Fire both offered a lot in terms of action, mysteries, friendship, and complexity in the characters. Oh, and not to mention getting the serious creeps from Leck, yikes. He is seriously the worst and probably my favorite villain. I absolutely fell in love with this series. Stay tuned for Bitterblue!
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