Graceling (A Comprehensive Analysis of My Feels)

Hey there!

So here’s the deal: I recently finished Graceling and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought writing a review would be a waste of time because, quite honestly, there’s not a single bad thing I could say about it. So instead, I’m just going to freak out and rant in true fangirl fashion. The first half of this post will be reserved for spoiler free book-pushing, because I truly want everyone I know to read this book and love it as much as I did. The second half will be reserved for a spoiler filled feels explosion, because this book is chock-full of the feels.  Just know that if I were giving Graceling a rating, it would be 5 out of 5 stars for sure. This post is going to be VERY long, so bear with me. And, if you have the patience to read the whole thing, you deserve a prize, my friends.


First things first. Katsa is one of the best female characters I have ever read about. She’s strong and fierce like Celeana from Throne of Glass, but she doesn’t relish the pain that she inflicts upon others. Her Grace gives her the ability to be a very skilled fighter, but she never wants to abuse the power that she has. While the king does use her for his own purposes, she’s always hated him and wanted to break away from him but she’s just never known how. Also, she always avoids violence, especially killing, when she believes it to be unnecessary.

anger

The original photo for this edit is courtesy of Ajsena at Deviantart (http://ajsena.deviantart.com/art/Girl-with-a-sword-284414210)

Katsa has never feared anyone or anything but herself. She fears that one day her own anger will cause her to do something that she’ll regret, especially when she gets close to being pushed off the edge by her king (who is also her uncle).

monster

Katsa also has an internal conflict in which she views herself to be a monster, but she doesn’t actually want to be one. She doesn’t know if it’s because of her very nature or because of the choices she’s made. When she finally decides that she won’t be anyone’s weapon anymore, she begins to wonder if maybe circumstance had actually made her into the monster that she believed herself to be.

And now, I will move on to Prince Greening Grandemalion, Prince of the Kingdom of Leinid. Better known as Po.

eyes “His eyes. Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn’t shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn’t seem human. She couldn’t stop looking at them.”

Po is just amazing *sigh*. He’s an amazing fighter, quick and intelligent, and very perceptive. The perception thing plays a huge role in the book but I won’t elaborate on that because spoilers. beautiful

Po is kind and gentle. He balances Katsa out perfectly because he understands her, and he knows when she needs to be given her space. He never tries to force her into doing anything she doesn’t want to do, and he knows just what to say to calm her down when she’s on the verge of doing something cray-cray.

po If you learn one thing today, let it be that Po is very swoon worthy. If you can internalize that fact, then I have done my job.


 And now, for the spoilery fangirling!

sunset

Heck to the yeah. Katsa, how in the flim flam did you not realize how beautiful Po is? For crying out loud, his eyes are GOLD AND SILVER. Everything about Po is beautiful, physically and mentally and personality wise. He’s an amazing person and I’m just sitting here wondering how on earth you could miss something like that. But on the other hand, I can understand Katsa not realizing it because she’s always been detached from people and she’s never really thought of guys in THAT way before.

cry Ouch, the feels. But in all honesty, that period of time when Katsa realized her feelings for Po but was too scared to act on them was so beautiful. To me, it made the relationship that much more genuine and special. Also, it was understandable why she would feel that way because all her life she was sure that she’d never want to be tied down by anyone and, to her, a relationship would be the thing that would tie her down and take away her freedom.

Even so, I still feel like these gifs encompass my emotions when I THOUGHT Katsa was going to jump into Po’s arms and tell him how she feels, and she chooses to run into the forest and cry instead.

nodding

Before

no

After

 And also, when Katsa killed King Leck I just

go-vomit

And when Po and Katsa meet up again, but Po is acting weird and Katsa realizes it’s because the accident left him blind.

cry cry cr cry 2

pain

And also, did anyone else think that Bitterblue is the most bad-a** 10 year old in the history of ever?

go girl


Well, that’s it. Thanks for reading this massive post and let me know what you thought of Graceling, or if you feel more inclined to read it now. 🙂

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Ruin and Rising (a comprehensive analysis of my feels)

WARNING. BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN, THERE ARE HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. I REPEAT, HUGE SPOILERS.

So, if you have visited my blog before, you have probably seen the review I have done for Ruin and Rising. I really applaud myself on managing to keep my cool long enough to write and post that review because, to be honest, I was emotionally wrecked after finishing that book. For this reason, I felt that simply doing a review would not be enough to express my true opinions and feelings about all of its characters and what happens to them.

You may be wondering how exactly this is different from my review. Well, first of all,  I make it a point not to post any spoilers in  my reviews. Here, on the other hand, there are super mega huge spoilers. Secondly, when I do reviews I try to look at the book from a more broad perspective. I won’t base my rating and review around how I feel about certain characters or how I feel about the protagonist’s decisions. Meanwhile, in posts like this one, I might end up hating on the protagonist and every one of the decisions she’s made throughout the book (especially regarding the love interests). Also, I may include a few photo edits that I made during the time when I was overwhelmed with emotion.

Without further ado, I present you with (drum-roll please)… a comprehensive analysis of my various feels regarding Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo!

ONE LAST TIME, I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT THERE ARE HUMONGOUS SPOILERS IN THIS POST. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.

Alright, so first things first, I’d like to point out that I’m a huge Darkling fan. I was a religious Darklina shipper up until the end when I kind of questioned the Darkling’s sanity.

the darkling 1 edit

I loved his character because he was dark, mysterious, powerful, beautiful, and just amazing overall. Plus, I kind of have a thing for evil (or seemingly evil) characters. While many people abandoned the Darkling in favor of Mal (ew) after Shadow and Bone, I held onto the small sliver of hope that he would be able to redeem himself by the time book three came around. I was wrong. I think Leigh was doing all she could to make us hate the Darkling, because he seriously became pretty detestable towards the end of the series. He killed children and the elderly, he purposely hung people that Alina knew in places she would be sure to see them, and he continually tried to claim ownership of Alina and her powers on several occasions. Yet I still wanted things to turn out okay for him. You see, Leigh had my emotions all jumbled up because while she made him more loathsome, she also continued to reveal more and more about him that made him seem so much more human. Through Baghra’s storytime, and even her death scene, we learned more about the Darkling’s character, and we saw his vulnerable side.

the darkling 2 edit

Despite how much I liked the Darkling, I knew deep down inside that he was not right for Alina. I also knew that he had too much greed to be a good ruler. What I did not anticipate, however, was how painful his death scene was going to be.

The darkling 3 edit
Again, being the hopeful fool that I am, I still had hope that he would survive the third book. He did not. I’m not really going to dwell on this aspect of the book because I don’t think I can put how I felt into words. Let’s just say, I “lost my ability to even”.

the darkling 4 edit

The darkling 5 edit

Now moving away from one painful part of Ruin and Rising to another, let us talk about the ending. She chose Mal *insert grimace*. Like many other Darklina shippers, I decided that if the Darkling and Alina were not going to end up together, then the next best option would be Nickolai. I mean, he’s funny, he’s handsome, he’s sarcastic, and he’s the future king. BUT NO. I was truly upset about this because I felt that Alina would be the only person who truly understood Nickolai and how he feels with the darkness (courtesy of the Darkling) inside of him. Talk about disappointment. I do have to admit, though, that Mal seems to be the one that will make Alina the most happy in the long run. So, while it annoys me immensely, I grudgingly give Malina my blessings.

Now the last thing I want to talk about is the plot twist. MAL WAS THE LAST AMPLIFIER AND HE DIED. And then he (unfortunately) came back to life.  I’ll admit, that scene was very intense and I was totally absorbed by the book at that point, but I don’t understand. I don’t understand how Alina can go from being one of the most powerful people in the world (she was set to become queen!) to being just a regular person and not even care. She had SO MUCH POWER. And now she doesn’t. Was it really that simple for her? Did she not even care about it? Or was it a relief to not have that burden anymore? If I had to take a guess, I would probably say it was that last one. Yet, I can’t help but feel that someone who experienced so much adventure in their youth is going to be bored with a normal life like the one Alina and Mal plan to live.

Well, I guess I’m finished ranting. I just wanted to add, though, that this post in no way changes what I said in my review. I enjoyed Ruin and Rising and, like I said before, it was a great ending to an amazing trilogy. 🙂

-Batool