Batty About Books welcomes you to
Part 2 of Graceling by Kristin Cashore!
Maria (mselke01) and I are reading together and our first book is Graceling. Each week, time permitting, we will share our thoughts about a section of the book. My thoughts are in blue and Maria's in purple. On her blog, Maria's Melange, you can read the other side of the story!
BEWARE!! THERE BE SPOILERS HERE!!
Graceling by Kristin Cashore - Page 116 - 234
Graceling Part 1 - Beginning to pg 115
Kathy: I love the way Po won’t fight Katsa angry. That would make a great discussion starter or just a fun conversation - what shouldn’t you do angry? I can see kids having fun with the question after we discuss why he won’t fight her.
Maria: I loved this. I just think that the way Po interacts with Katsa is wonderful. I love how he wants to “level the playing field” with her. He respects her strength and power enough that he knows he can’t fight her without her holding back - and that he wants her not to have to hold back. I also think he knows her uneasiness with her anger. I enjoyed the scene when they fought at night, and she could finally completely unleash. Again, I was reminded of some of my favorite female fighters. Batgirl often spars with people like Black Canary so that she can go all out in her training.
Kathy: Were you surprised by Po’s grace?
Maria:Yes and no. I had some suspicions as I was reading that it wasn’t really just his fighting style. She gave a lot of little hints along the way. When it was finally revealed, I went “Oh, of course! That makes it all make sense”. All the little tidbits about mind readers early on, and the clues about his sensitivity to those around him. They all tied in nicely together. What else makes this awesome? The female has the fighting Grace and the male has the empathy/sensitivity. Yet Katsa still has emotional sensitivity and Po still has power. They are a well matched pair - ying to yang in every way. I’m actually really glad they let the Giddon angle drop. She’ll have enough other issues to work through. Giddon made me pretty angry with how he handled everything in this segment anyway.
Kathy: I wonder how Katsa’s felt when she first decided to let Lord Ellis go - knowing she would not only be defying Randa but losing her place at the castle, such as being able to do her Council work and leaving Raffin.
Maria: Yet another thing I loved. I kept thinking to myself, “Stand up to him already!” - and then she did. I love that she has to face serious consequences for this action. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, and it always carries a price. I’m sure Raffin will come back into her life, though.
Kathy: “When a monster stopped behaving like a monster,, did it stop being a monster?”
This quote makes me think of who I am and how much of it is in reaction to what others think of me or my perception of their thinking. How much of me is from inside of me? Great segue into a conversation on identity - what it means, how you get it, how to change or own it...
Maria: Yes! What makes us who we are? Is it who we are innately? How we act? Do our choices change who we ARE, or just how we are behaving? Katsa is awfully hard on herself, but I think it’s because she knows what she is doing isn’t moral or ethical, and she’s trying to work herself into making that break.
Kathy: I wonder why Randa doesn’t respect Raffin? Is it just because of his love for medicine? Are doctors on such a low level in their society? If so, why would Cashore do that?
Maria: This leads me to think there may be more to their mutual dislike than we’ve seen so far. There must be more backstory to it. Raffin also doesn’t seem to pursue power for its own sake, and I think that sets Randa’s teeth on edge. My guess is that even though Raffin’s Council work would make Randa angry, he’d probably also respect Raffin’s backbone more if he knew about it. It also makes me think there might be something to your thoughts about Raffin and Bann having a relationship. That would also cause the rift with Randa.
Kathy: I hate that Randa doesn’t care anything about his own niece either. Outside of her usefulness to him, he wouldn’t care if she was dead. That is so sad! What has happened to Randa that he doesn’t value family???
Maria: I know, right?? I often wonder about the backstory for villains. One of these days I’m going to write a version of Rapunzel that reveals what the witch’s deal was.
Kathy: I would love a Grace that didn’t protected me from sickness and tiredness!! What things I could get done! The places i would go! Would I force myself to slow down and eat and rest like Katsa is doing? Or would I eventually reach the ends of myself because I pushed myself too far? I would hope I would slow down but I’m sure in the beginning, as I was discovering all I could do, I would pretty much run everywhere and try everything - if I was in my own time of course. Being in a place where Graces are feared would put a slight damper on things!
Maria: Have you read any of the Wheel of Time series? The “magic users” in that world (Aes Sedai) can often use a similar technique to avoid fatigue, but it does take its toll in the end.
Again, check out Part 1 if you missed it! Join us next week for Part 3!
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