Graceling - Kristin Cashore

I was kind of hoping for more with this. 


The idea of graces was an intriguing one, and thus the world had the potential to be interesting, but that potential was not really fulfilled. The politics of the situation seemed overly simplistic, although they were a central point of the plot, and the political characters (those that were important to the plot but that we don't really see often, which is actually a lot of them) were rather two-dimensional. 


I didn't care for the main characters, either. I don't mean I didn't like them, I just didn't care either way, honestly.


The romance fell completely flat for me, and it was clearly supposed to be a driving force for the characters. Katsa in particular is kind of messed up in terms of romance, which is fine, but if that is so then the "romance" portion of the book was way too big, because there was other stuff much more interesting going on than a romance that isn't satisfying. It doesn't add to the book and just feels weirdly tacked on, like the author was told a YA book required a romance and it didn't fit but was shoehorned in anyway. 


The twists were not terribly twisty--I saw everything coming pretty early on, and I was never surprised by what I had guessed. It dragged in places as well, especially those parts concerning the mountain.


In the end, I did like the book, but mostly because of the ideas presented and not really because of the characters or even the plot. It was a predictable but pleasant read, and I don't regret reading it, but I'm unlikely to pick up the next two in the series (especially as I have heard that they are not quite on the same level).