Batty About Books welcomes you to
Part 3 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 235 - 357
Graceling Part 2 - Page 116 - 234
Graceling Part 1 - Beginning to pg 115
Kathy: The first thing that jumps out at me is the mention of Po’s father and his ambition. Po continually stresses that he is not to know about Po’s full Grace, even though they honor Graces in Lienid. What are we saying about Kings? We have Randa, Leck and Po’s father, who stole his kingdom from Po’s grandfather, and they seem to have some issues with Power. When you have Power, are you destined to abuse it given the chance?
Maria: Hmmm... this is a tricky one. Po isn’t just Graced - he’s a mind reader (well, more of an empath, but still). I think Cashore gave us a nice peek into that aspect of Grace earlier in the book. I think it is his particular Grace, more than just the fact that he is Graced, that is the problem. I also am inclined to give Po’s father a bit of slack so far. Randa and Leck are unbridled jerks, yes. But I can see where being a ruler might mean trying to do what is best for ALL of your people, even if it causes harm to your own child. (Not saying I would make that call myself, but I can see some logic in it). I’m hoping that Po’s father is that kind of ruler, and that his mother is just concerned that the king will feel he NEEDS to use Po’s Grace to sort things out, and not really think through what it does to Po.
Kathy: What is the deal with Leck? What does he want with Bitterblue? What does she mean he has a thing for young girls?? At first I thought it was because she was Graced but we would know if he knew, right? Her eyes would have changed. Is there something else? She mentioned that her mom became more immune to Leck’s Grace when he threatened Bitterblue and that she herself became more immune when he threatened her mom. Does that happen with others?
Maria: Leck seems to be (or it sounds like) someone that the Criminal Minds team would be chasing. He enjoys inflicting pain, and I can imagine he may also be a pedophile. All of that, though, doesn't really explain the extent to which he is going to recapture Bitterblue. Maybe her immunity will cause his downfall? Maybe there was a prophecy about her? It doesn't sound like anyone else becomes immune when threatened directly, so I’m thinking there is more to the story than just that. Maybe there is something to the Lienid blood as well that helps with the immunity? Have we seen any other Lienids react to Leck?
Kathy: Also, how is his Grace able to control others? I mean, that is one awesome but crazy Grace! He is also a very smart man, surrounding himself with a Graced inner and outer guard. Why did he kill his wife?
Maria: I think she threatens his control. Maybe a Lienid thing, or maybe it’s tied to his need to destroy his daughter. Maybe if she got out, she could destroy his ability to control the spin of his story? I really want to know what’s next.
Kathy: While traveling through the mountains with Katsa, we see a more motherly side to her. Will protecting Bitterblue somehow lead to a change in her wanting children? Or will it reinforce something for Katsa since she has to constantly think about Bitterblue and change her plans accordingly, even to the point of slowing down.
Maria: I’m curious about this as well - but as I mentioned in my discussion I’m pleased to see this female mentorship build. I think the women teaching women aspect is sorely lacking in fiction, and I’m hoping that Cashore builds on this relationship.
Kathy: In addition to the way they are putting Bitterblue first, I was touched by the scene where Katsa went under the waterfall to find Po’s safe place. She asked him to turn his face away so she could get undressed. I liked that she considered that a 10 year old might not be ready to know about that part of their relationship.
Maria: Yes! I loved this. I don’t think Katsa was very sheltered, and I love the fact that she considered the need to shelter Bitterblue.
Kathy: And we left Po!! What does he mean that he doesn’t think he’ll get his balance back?? How is he faring??? Has he been caught? How could Cashore leave us hanging?
Maria: Yes! I forgot to mention that. I noticed his comment about his balance not coming back as well, and jotted down a note. Can his Grace also notice what is wrong within him? That worried me a lot. I am happy he’s out of the picture for a while - so Katsa and Bitterblue can bond - but I do want him back!
This was an exciting part of the book! I can't wait to see what the last part brings. How will Cashore bring all the players back together and right the wrongs? Will she write the wrong? Tune in next week!