What can we, as authors, learn from the classic film, Rocky? Enjoy!
Rocky is currently on Netflix.
Rooting around on the internet one day, I came across a post that included suggestions for those who liked the Harry Potter series. My son, at 9 years old, has read the whole series and a couple of the books more than once. So I read through the article with him in mind. While it was not a list for kids only, a couple of the books caught my interest.
One of them was a book called Graceling by Kristin Cashore. First of all, I loved the title, a little jealous of the title, to be honest. Second, it appeared to be more of a YA title, so it had some potential for my son. I picked it up from the library and read it.
In the story of Graceling, Katsa is a member of the royal family of one of seven kingdoms. She is a Graceling, which means she has a special power or ability, called a Grace. Katsa’s Grace is fighting, and while society looks down on her and sees her as dangerous, she is used by he uncle, the king, as a thug. Into the story, she comes into contact with another prince with a Grace, and they become friends as they attempt to unravel a royal kidnapping among the kingdoms.
For a first novel, Cashore writes well, and the “magic” system in the fantasy realm is well thought out. The world itself is well imagined and has a lot of potential. The characters are good, especially Katsa, and we quickly cheer for the heroes of the story.
Overall, the story was average. I liked the villain, but I could have used a little more background on him to fill out the story and better define our heroes. For the world, we see some of the medieval politics and society, but what about religion? Some inclusion of religious beliefs would have made the world more believable and rich.
As a YA novel, the language was clean and not a lot of violence, but there are some sexual situations that I would not suggest for middle schoolers, necessarily. Parents should use their own discretion, as usual.
While it was a good book, I would not highly recommend it, especially not over some other modern fantasy. But if you’re looking for something new with potential, check it out.