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18th Mar '13 12:59:33 AM Xtifr
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[[quoteright:238:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GracelingCover_833.JPG]]

-->''"Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?"''

''Graceling'' is a fantasy YoungAdult novel by first-time author Kristin Cashore. The heroine, [[ActionGirl Katsa]], is "Graced" with [[CursedWithAwesome the power to kill with her bare hands]] and is forced to [[ProfessionalKiller utilize her Grace]] for her uncle King Randa's dirty work. Scorned and feared because of her Grace, Katsa remains relatively friendless and accepts the fact that people won't ever be comfortable or brave enough to look into her [[MismatchedEyes blue-and-green eyes]]. When she encounters a Graceling prince on one of her missions, Katsa has no idea how her life will begin to change...

It also has a SpinOff, ''Fire'' (examples listed on its own, further down the page), taking place in the Dells, east of the original setting. The only character who shows up from ''Graceling'' is Leck. In the Dells, there are no Gracelings; instead, there are 'monsters', animals with oddly-colored fur, all of which are mind-bogglingly beautiful and can fuzz people's minds. Furthermore, predator monsters are particularly fond of other monsters.
Yes, human monsters exist - or one still does: the titular Fire. Aside from getting hit hard with AMindIsATerribleThingToRead and SoBeautifulItsACurse, and attracting predator monsters like nobody's business, she has an extra, nasty burden - her father Cansrel's legacy. Cansrel was a monster in more than the literal sense and ruled the kingdom through the old king. He also brought it to ruin. Fire is therefore hated and distrusted by AllOfTheOtherReindeer, and her only friends are her horse, Small; her surrogate father Brocker; and her lover, Brocker's adoptive son, Archer. When Prince Brigan, brother of the current king, calls her to the capital to help the government (her monsterness gives her mind-control powers that she hates to use), Fire has a pretty good idea her life is going to change.

The trilogy has been rounded off now with the third book ''Bitterblue''. Though a direct sequel to the first book, examples are also listed separately as they will contain spoilers to Graceling.

----
!!Provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Katsa. Bitterblue is slowly heading towards this direction.
* AerithAndBob: Most of the characters, including royalty, have Medieval-sounding one or two syllable names: Katsa, Raffin, Faun, Leck, Oll, Skye, Helda, Randa, Ashen. But then there's Bitterblue and Greening Grandemalion (who goes by Po, but still)...
** These last two are from the Kingdom of Lienid where most names are based on colours.
* AttemptedRape: Katsa might've been raped by her older cousin when she was younger if she didn't, y'know, accidently kill him out of self-protection. Also this might've happened to ''Bitterblue'' if her mother didn't protect her from her psycho dad.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Katsa hates this trope up to a point where she's uncomfortable being saved by anyone.
* AntiClimax: Katsa's final battle with [[spoiler:King Leck involves her killing him with one dagger thrown through his mouth.]]
* ArrangedMarriage: King Randa is trying to get Katsa into one of these to be rid of her. His son Prince Raffin is dreading this.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:Bitterblue]].
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Averted. Katsa is so vehemently opposed to having babies (and marriage) that she refuses Po's affection for her at first.
* BattleCouple: Katsa and Po, eventually.
* {{Badass}}: Katsa and Po, considering how they use their Graces in combat.
* BeautifulDreamer: Katsa admires Po this way at least once. Of course, after making sure he's ''really'' asleep of course.
* BerserkButton: Do NOT imply that Po is Katsa's "sensible keeper". Or anything of that sort.
* BestialityIsDepraved: [[spoiler:Implied that King Leck does this to animals at his orphanage before brutally hacking them to bits.]]
* BlessedWithSuck: [[spoiler: Po's ability to read minds and sense people really does suck since no one would trust him. For good reason.]]
** If you're lucky and your Grace is useful to the king of whatever country you live in, you'll be kept at court. If you're unlucky, then you get sent home, where you'll most likely be ridiculed for your useless Grace. If you're ''really'' lucky, you live in Lienid, where the Gracelings are free and treated with something like respect.
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler:Anyone who meets King Leck, thanks to his Grace.]]
* BreakingSpeech: Randa to Katsa.
* BlindSeer: [[spoiler:Po becomes this. Well, he already had the Seer part down (sensing everyone's presence, reading minds), but he does lose his eyesight later on.]]
* BulletTime: [[spoiler:Why Po is so good at fighting]].
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: Subverted. Katsa and Raffin were thinking of making one so Raffin could avoid an ArrangedMarriage. They don't take it too seriously and laughed about it when they realized it would never work.
* CombatClairvoyance: [[spoiler:Prince Po]]'s Grace equates to this in a fight.
* CrapsackWorld: Downplayed As long as you don't offend any of the kings and live as isolated as possible, you should be all right. Usually.
* CursedWithAwesome: Katsa's [[spoiler:real]] Grace: [[spoiler:Survival]]. [[spoiler:King Leck's Grace also qualifies, but he has no moral qualms about utilizing this.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Katsa has traces of this earlier in the novel.
* DecoyProtagonist: King Randa of the Decoy Villan variety.
* {{Determinator}}: Katsa really wants to be the best at everything, whether it's from archery to just racing up the stairs. There's also the bit where she [[spoiler:crosses [[DeathCourse Grella's Pass]] with Bitterblue in ''the middle of a blizzard'']].
* DifferentlyPoweredIndividual: The Gracelings.
* [[spoiler:DisabilitySuperpower]]: What Po's Grace becomes.
* TheDogBitesBack: Katsa comments about how Randa knows how to make her feel like a brutal dog. She then tells him how she will kill all of the hundreds of guards he has with him, along with Randa himself.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Po's real name is ''Greening Gandemallion''.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Everyone except Katsa knew that Giddon had a crush on Katsa. Oh, and that Katsa and Po liked each other.
* FemaleGaze: Katsa to Po a number of times.
* FightingFromTheInside: Po and Bitterblue are pretty good at this. Katsa, not so much.
* FreakOut: Katsa has one when she realizes that she's in love with Po.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Katsa and Po.
* HairTriggerTemper: Katsa, though she [[CharacterDevelopment improves as the novel progresses]].
* HeroicBSOD: Po [[spoiler:after he goes blind]].
* ImportantHairCut: Strangely enough Bitterblue's haircut and not Katsa's. Bitterblue's haircut symbolizes she's no longer a pampered, sheltered princess. Katsa just found long hair annoying.
* KissingCousins: See Childhood Marriage Promise up above.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: "The wild ones are most fun if you know how to control them."
* LaResistance: Katsa's Council is a mild version of this.
* [[LetsPlay Let's Read]]: [[http://dragon-quill.blogspot.com/search/label/Graceling Here.]]
* LoveAtFirstPunch: For Po at least. Actually, a big part of Katsa's and Po's relationship is centered on trying to punch each others' guts out. Being that both of them are accomplished fighters who revel in sparring matches, this is much less dysfunctional than it sounds.
* MassHypnosis: [[spoiler:Not only Leck's Kingdom, but everyone who personally meets King Leck. In fact, anyone who hears King Leck, and then talks to other people, who then talk to ''other'' people, taking this SerialEscalation.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Mind readers are very unhappy people.
* MismatchedEyes: This is the Graceling indicator.
* ObliviousToLove: Katsa, full stop. Not just to Po's love for her, but to her own love for Po.
* OnePersonOnePower
* PromotionToLoveInterest: Happens to Po about halfway through the book.
* RomanticFalseLead: Poor, poor Giddon.
* RunningGag: Katsa "abusing" her horses from overwork. Probably also qualifies as Somewhere an Equestrian is Crying. Seriously, she rides her horses full tilt at night for hours because its 'only' five or six more leagues until they get home and she's too impatient to wait for morning. One of the other characters asks if she is still ruining the horses.
* ShutUpHannibal: Randa gives Katsa a HannibalLecture when she refuses to obey him. She responds by telling him exactly how she could kill every guard in the throne room and himself, before leaving.
* StayInTheKitchen: Society's opinion of women.
* SuperpowerLottery: Graces can be anything from being good at climbing trees to dancing to mind reading.
* {{Telepathy}}: [[spoiler:Po's real grace.]] Note that it works only when people's thoughts are specifically focused on him.
* TheSmartGuy: Raffin
* ThouShaltNotKill: Katsa has this attitude in mind though she's forced to kill plenty of people under her uncle's bidding at first.
* TheirFirstTime: Katsa and Po, once again.
* UnstoppableRage: Katsa is afraid of hers. Po has traces of this, too.
* WalkingTheEarth: Katsa and Po end up doing this from Part II on.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Bitterblue. She even realizes that "Po was in a position to see Katsa naked" at ''10 years old''.
* TheWisePrince: Raffin.
* WithMyHandsTied: While Katsa doesn't actually get tied up, she trains in order to counter a situation like this.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Bitterblue becomes this. Guessing from what WordOfGod says about the Bitterblue-focused sequel, this will bite her in the ass later.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Katsa gives one to Randa during her ShutUpHannibal moment by detailing ''exactly'' how she could slaughter him and every one of the two hundred guards he has surrounding her. Internally, she acknowledges that she'd be lucky to survive the bloodbath herself, but Randa would certainly die and the death toll would be ''tremendous'' regardless.
* WriterOnBoard: Katsa's beliefs on marriage and having children. WordOfGod even admits that some of her beliefs got transferred into the novel.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Raffin dyes his hair blue by accident.

!! The SpinOff, ''Fire'', provides examples of:

* [[AbsurdlyYouthfulMother Absurdly Youthful Father]]: [[spoiler:[[SpearCounterpart Brigan.]]]]
* ActionGirl: Fire's guard contains over five hundred of these thanks to Brigan. Hanna is confirmed. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of way, in the third book, Hanna is mentioned to have succeeded her father as army commander.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Ah, Fire.
* {{Amazing Technicolor Wildlife}}: Animal monsters.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Again.
* {{Bi The Way}}: Fire's first lover was a maid named Liddy, whom Cansrel sent away to end their relationship.
* BodyHorror: Brocker's legs were shattered. Not broken, shattered. By eight men taking turns with mallets.
* BlessedWithSuck: Defines Fire's life.
* TheCasanova: Archer.
* {{Closed Door Rapport}}: Fire insists on this with Nash at first, since seeing her face reduces him to a babbling idiot. Eventually he gets better.
* {{Cool Horse}}: Subverted when Fire chooses a plain, but good-natured gelding instead of the showy mare Cansrel picked for her. Played straight with the river horse that "adopts" her after [[spoiler: her escape from Leck's hideout]].
* CreepyChild: Leck.
* CrapsackWorld: Very much so, though the royal family are trying to make it less of one.
* DeathByChildbirth: Archer's mother and Hanna's mother.
* DirtyMindReading: Mind reading + SoBeautifulItsACurse = ...remember when we said Fire's life was built around BlessedWithSuck?
* AFatherToHisMen: Brigan, very much so.
* EnfantTerrible: Leck. Isn't it nice to know that [[spoiler: torturing animals and killing people]] has been going on his whole life?
* {{Friend To All Living Things}}: Fire loves animals and they love her, especially since she can sense their minds.
* {{Friend To All Children}}: Fire again, which is why her resolution to remain the last of her kind is so difficult to keep. She compensates by taking care of her friends' children.
* {{Friends With Benefits}}: Fire and Archer. He wants to marry her, but the more he asks, the more it irritates her.
* {{Genius Ditz}}: Clara may seem silly at first meeting, but she's actually one of the Dells' highest-ranking spymasters.
* GreenEyedMonster: [[TheCasanova Ironically]], Archer.
* HeroicBastard: Clara, Garan, Archer, [[spoiler:and Brigan.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Fire has one after [[spoiler:she kills her father]]. And another, years later, when [[spoiler:she finds Archer's body]].
* HeroesWantRedheads: Fire.
* HumansAreBastards: Fire's monster beauty tends to bring out the worst in people.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: [[spoiler:See SelfMadeOrphan]].
* {{I Love You Because I Cant Control You}}: Brigan's mind is so disciplined that he can block Fire's powers, which unsettles her, but is also a part of what makes her fall for him.
* {{If You Die I Call Your Stuff}}: Just before a dangerous mission, Fire jokingly does this in order to get a sleepy Brigan to pay attention.
* {{Ill Girl}}: Garan is an Ill Man.
* InverseLawOfFertility: A variation. Fire, as mentioned, wants children, and she's physically capable of having them [[spoiler:at least until she utilizes a permanent form of FantasyBirthControl]] but she doesn't dare, because she doesn't want to give birth to someone who could become another Cansrel.
** Meanwhile, [[spoiler: Mila and Clara]] become pregnant purely by accident.
* LadykillerInLove: Archer is a slut, but he does love Fire.
* LamarckWasRight: A large theme of the story is [[DefiedTrope defying this]]. "If we are all to be judged by our parents and grandparents, we all may as well impale ourselves on pointy bits of rock."
* LastOfHerKind: And Fire is damn well going to keep it that way.
* {{Like Parent Like Spouse}}: [[spoiler: No wonder Fire falls in love with gray-eyed, stoic, military genius Brigan. He's Brocker's son.]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: Hoooooo boy. [[spoiler:Fire I Am Your Grandmother, Archer I Am Your Real Father (semi-subverted since Archer always knew he wasn't really Brocker's son), and Brigan I Am Your Father.]]
* MoralityPet: In a rare instance, TheProtagonist ''is'' the pet; Fire was this to Cansrel. Hanna to Brigan, too, although he's not mean, just cold.
* MoralityChain: Subverted. Fire wanted to become this, but she couldn't.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted. The blood draws even ''more'' predators to Fire.
* {{Not So Different}}: The core message of [[spoiler: Leck's]] BreakingSpeech o Fire.
* {{Offing The Offspring}}: [[spoiler: Archer is shot by his biological father (see {{Rape As Backstory}}), though it's not known if either one knew about it.]]
* OnePersonOnePower: Each Graceling has one Grace, although it is possible to elaborate on it.
* OneSteveLimit: Followed technically, but Nash and Nax are close enough together to be annoying.
* {{Only Known By Their Nickname}}: Archer's real name is Arklin, but no one calls him that.
* {{Parental Substitute}}: Brocker to Fire, even while Cansrel was still alive.
* PetTheDog: In Brigan's case, be nice to the monster's horse and replace her broken violin.
* PosthumousCharacter: Cansrel and King Nax. Cansrel is quite well developed like this, too.
* RapeAsBackstory: Archer was conceived this way when mad King Nax sent a man to rape Brocker's wife as revenge against Brocker [[spoiler:for sleeping with, and impregnating, Queen Roen]].
* RetiredBadass: Brocker was the king's best war leader.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The ''entire'' royal family.
* {{Sibling Love Triangle}}: Nash/Fire/Brigan.
* SecondLove: For both protagonists.
* {{Sexy Shirt Switch}}: Archer finds this "impossibly sweet", oblivious to the fact that Fire's doing it to cover up some bruises.
* {{Shotacon}} and {{Lolicon}}: Nax and Cansrel are mentioned to have had children from the court 'to make a change from the women'.
* SkunkStripe: Queen Roan.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: ''Heavily'' deconstructed with Fire. She gets an extra, even worse facet, though: The same beauty makes her a predator magnet of both the animal ''and'' human variety, to the point that she is assigned a permanent twenty-person guard and isn't even allowed to sleep alone -- two of her female guards must always be with her -- once she's at the palace, as there are too many people who might want to hurt her, or even just barge into her rooms for the sole purpose of staring at her or touching her hair.
** The book is very good at taking the idea of someone being 'impossibly beautiful' to the point of being nearly irresistible and showing ''just how awful that would be''. Even leaving aside all of the obvious drawbacks mentioned above, there are smaller, more emotion-based ones that would be just as psychologically hard to deal with. Much of human empathy comes from how people look; the crappier someone looks, the more likely a person is to feel sympathy/empathy for them and reach out with comfort and understanding. Even when beaten, bruised, sickly, and crying, Fire is still the most gorgeous creature in the Dells. How she looks will almost never reflect how she truly feels. Fire herself puts it best:
--->"I'm not how I look," [Fire] said suddenly, bursting into tears. "I look beautiful and placid and delightful, but that's not how I feel. I will be sad. I will be sad, and confused, and irritable, very often."
* SelfMadeOrphan: Leck in the prologue, [[spoiler:and a heroic version with Fire]].
* SpinOff
* StayInTheKitchen: Brigan defies this on a wide scale. Thanks to her , women are now permitted to become full members of the army.
* {{Tall Dark And Handsome}}: Subverted with Brigan. He's got the tall and dark part down, but he is explicitly described as being quite plain in appearance, and certainly not handsome.
* {{They Call Him Sword}}: Archer
* TrueCompanions
* {{We Can Rule Together}}: [[spoiler: Leck wants Fire as his "partner". Her answer is to send him falling into some sharp rocks, explaining why he has an eyepatch in the later book.]]
* {{We Have Ways Of Making You Talk}}: Fire herself, albeit very reluctantly and after much persuasion, uses her monster powers to interrogate prisoners. Justified as she's working to prevent a three-way war.
* WhatTheHellHero: [[spoiler:Garan]] gives Fire an ''epic'' one due to her [[spoiler:spending so much time wallowing in her grief rather than doing anything useful]].
* TheWisePrince: Brigan.
* WomanScorned: [[spoiler:Nax was the SpearCounterpart.]]
* {{Worthy Opponent}}: Fire has a certain respect for Murgda, one of the rebel leaders.
* {{Wrong Context Magic}}: Leck is a Graceling in a country that's never heard of them.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Archer was lucky for a while, but Fire eventually dumps him.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Fire fits pretty well if you place the Dells in the position of family: A sweet girl with inner iron that tries to be a MoralityChain and lives [[FantasyCounterpartCulture east of the first book's setting]]
* YouDidTheRightThing: [[spoiler:Pretty much everyone tells Fire this in regard to her deliberately causing the death of her father and making it look like a suicide]]. Considering [[DarkestHour what would have happened]] had he lived, they're not wrong.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Monsters. Cansrel had literal blue hair.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:Brocker and Roan]]. Averted with Fire and Archer, as Fire knows that Archer sleeps around and doesn't think much of it, beyond frustration for the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.
----

!! The final book in the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, ''Bitterblue'', provides examples of:

* [[BiTheWay Bi The Way:]]: Saf.
* CatsAreMean: Death's cat, Lovejoy.
* CompleteMonster: Leck. The story is about the Kingdom of Monsea recovering from his tyrannical rule, normally this trope falls into YMMV but the following tropes detailing his acts leave no doubt, and in-universe he's considered one as well.
** CompellingVoice > MassHypnosis > GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul allowing him to get away with...
*** MindRape: The short version of the above.
*** DoubleStandardRapeSciFi: Averted. Sci-fi rape, yes. Double standard, no.
*** RapeAsBackstory: The backstory of the entire Kingdom is how Leck raped it, not just the many women he raped specifically. [[spoiler: towards the climax it is revealed that Leck used his powers to make others rape and torture for him.]]
*** MedicalRapeAndImpregnate: [[spoiler: Leck would rape women in order to perform medical experiments on pregnant women.]]
*** MedicalHorror: One of Lecks great passions was his "hospital" where he would perfom surgical experiments. His impulse control problems often caused his subjects to die too quickly as he would perform multiple simultaneous experiments on a single person.
*** [[spoiler: ChildByRape:]] [[spoiler: Hava is the daughter of Leck and his sculptor Bellamew. Her mother kept her safe from Leck by pretending she had died.]]
*** BrainwashedAndCrazy: Everyone he affected with his voice, forcing several to do horrible things to other human beings.
* DramatisPersonae: There's one at the back, written by Bitterblue's librarian, Death.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Bitterblue suspects there is one, her [[VoiceOfTheResistance new friends]] are sure there is one.
* HeroicBastard: [[spoiler:Bitterblue's half sister Hava saves her life a few times but is the only person to know they are related]]
* {{It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY}}: Although this information is of questionable relevance to this record; Death, the Royal Librarian of Monsea , would merely like to remind everyone that his name is pronounced to rhyme with 'teeth'.
* [[LoliCon Lolicon]]: [[CompleteMonster Leck]], of course. ( [[ParentalIncest Even towards his own daughter.]]) [[NightmareFuel Because he wasn't disturbing enough yet!]]
* [[KingIncognito Queen Incognito]] The plot is mostly kicked off by Bitterblue doing this.
* [[RapeByProxy Rape by Proxy]]: Leck, again. Just to make it worse, he used [[spoiler:''other men'']] as the proxy.
----

to:

[[quoteright:238:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GracelingCover_833.JPG]]

-->''"Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?"''

''Graceling'' is a fantasy YoungAdult novel by first-time author Kristin Cashore. The heroine, [[ActionGirl Katsa]], is "Graced" with [[CursedWithAwesome the power to kill with her bare hands]] and is forced to [[ProfessionalKiller utilize her Grace]] for her uncle King Randa's dirty work. Scorned and feared because of her Grace, Katsa remains relatively friendless and accepts the fact that people won't ever be comfortable or brave enough to look into her [[MismatchedEyes blue-and-green eyes]]. When she encounters a Graceling prince on one of her missions, Katsa has no idea how her life will begin to change...

It also has a SpinOff, ''Fire'' (examples listed on its own, further down the page), taking place in the Dells, east of the original setting. The only character who shows up from ''Graceling'' is Leck. In the Dells, there are no Gracelings; instead, there are 'monsters', animals with oddly-colored fur, all of which are mind-bogglingly beautiful and can fuzz people's minds. Furthermore, predator monsters are particularly fond of other monsters.
Yes, human monsters exist - or one still does: the titular Fire. Aside from getting hit hard with AMindIsATerribleThingToRead and SoBeautifulItsACurse, and attracting predator monsters like nobody's business, she has an extra, nasty burden - her father Cansrel's legacy. Cansrel was a monster in more than the literal sense and ruled the kingdom through the old king. He also brought it to ruin. Fire is therefore hated and distrusted by AllOfTheOtherReindeer, and her only friends are her horse, Small; her surrogate father Brocker; and her lover, Brocker's adoptive son, Archer. When Prince Brigan, brother of the current king, calls her to the capital to help the government (her monsterness gives her mind-control powers that she hates to use), Fire has a pretty good idea her life is going to change.

The trilogy has been rounded off now with the third book ''Bitterblue''. Though a direct sequel to the first book, examples are also listed separately as they will contain spoilers to Graceling.

----
!!Provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Katsa. Bitterblue is slowly heading towards this direction.
* AerithAndBob: Most of the characters, including royalty, have Medieval-sounding one or two syllable names: Katsa, Raffin, Faun, Leck, Oll, Skye, Helda, Randa, Ashen. But then there's Bitterblue and Greening Grandemalion (who goes by Po, but still)...
** These last two are from the Kingdom of Lienid where most names are based on colours.
* AttemptedRape: Katsa might've been raped by her older cousin when she was younger if she didn't, y'know, accidently kill him out of self-protection. Also this might've happened to ''Bitterblue'' if her mother didn't protect her from her psycho dad.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Katsa hates this trope up to a point where she's uncomfortable being saved by anyone.
* AntiClimax: Katsa's final battle with [[spoiler:King Leck involves her killing him with one dagger thrown through his mouth.]]
* ArrangedMarriage: King Randa is trying to get Katsa into one of these to be rid of her. His son Prince Raffin is dreading this.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:Bitterblue]].
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Averted. Katsa is so vehemently opposed to having babies (and marriage) that she refuses Po's affection for her at first.
* BattleCouple: Katsa and Po, eventually.
* {{Badass}}: Katsa and Po, considering how they use their Graces in combat.
* BeautifulDreamer: Katsa admires Po this way at least once. Of course, after making sure he's ''really'' asleep of course.
* BerserkButton: Do NOT imply that Po is Katsa's "sensible keeper". Or anything of that sort.
* BestialityIsDepraved: [[spoiler:Implied that King Leck does this to animals at his orphanage before brutally hacking them to bits.]]
* BlessedWithSuck: [[spoiler: Po's ability to read minds and sense people really does suck since no one would trust him. For good reason.]]
** If you're lucky and your Grace is useful to the king of whatever country you live in, you'll be kept at court. If you're unlucky, then you get sent home, where you'll most likely be ridiculed for your useless Grace. If you're ''really'' lucky, you live in Lienid, where the Gracelings are free and treated with something like respect.
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler:Anyone who meets King Leck, thanks to his Grace.]]
* BreakingSpeech: Randa to Katsa.
* BlindSeer: [[spoiler:Po becomes this. Well, he already had the Seer part down (sensing everyone's presence, reading minds), but he does lose his eyesight later on.]]
* BulletTime: [[spoiler:Why Po is so good at fighting]].
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: Subverted. Katsa and Raffin were thinking of making one so Raffin could avoid an ArrangedMarriage. They don't take it too seriously and laughed about it when they realized it would never work.
* CombatClairvoyance: [[spoiler:Prince Po]]'s Grace equates to this in a fight.
* CrapsackWorld: Downplayed As long as you don't offend any of the kings and live as isolated as possible, you should be all right. Usually.
* CursedWithAwesome: Katsa's [[spoiler:real]] Grace: [[spoiler:Survival]]. [[spoiler:King Leck's Grace also qualifies, but he has no moral qualms about utilizing this.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Katsa has traces of this earlier in the novel.
* DecoyProtagonist: King Randa of the Decoy Villan variety.
* {{Determinator}}: Katsa really wants to be the best at everything, whether it's from archery to just racing up the stairs. There's also the bit where she [[spoiler:crosses [[DeathCourse Grella's Pass]] with Bitterblue in ''the middle of a blizzard'']].
* DifferentlyPoweredIndividual: The Gracelings.
* [[spoiler:DisabilitySuperpower]]: What Po's Grace becomes.
* TheDogBitesBack: Katsa comments about how Randa knows how to make her feel like a brutal dog. She then tells him how she will kill all of the hundreds of guards he has with him, along with Randa himself.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Po's real name is ''Greening Gandemallion''.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Everyone except Katsa knew that Giddon had a crush on Katsa. Oh, and that Katsa and Po liked each other.
* FemaleGaze: Katsa to Po a number of times.
* FightingFromTheInside: Po and Bitterblue are pretty good at this. Katsa, not so much.
* FreakOut: Katsa has one when she realizes that she's in love with Po.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Katsa and Po.
* HairTriggerTemper: Katsa, though she [[CharacterDevelopment improves as the novel progresses]].
* HeroicBSOD: Po [[spoiler:after he goes blind]].
* ImportantHairCut: Strangely enough Bitterblue's haircut and not Katsa's. Bitterblue's haircut symbolizes she's no longer a pampered, sheltered princess. Katsa just found long hair annoying.
* KissingCousins: See Childhood Marriage Promise up above.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: "The wild ones are most fun if you know how to control them."
* LaResistance: Katsa's Council is a mild version of this.
* [[LetsPlay Let's Read]]: [[http://dragon-quill.blogspot.com/search/label/Graceling Here.]]
* LoveAtFirstPunch: For Po at least. Actually, a big part of Katsa's and Po's relationship is centered on trying to punch each others' guts out. Being that both of them are accomplished fighters who revel in sparring matches, this is much less dysfunctional than it sounds.
* MassHypnosis: [[spoiler:Not only Leck's Kingdom, but everyone who personally meets King Leck. In fact, anyone who hears King Leck, and then talks to other people, who then talk to ''other'' people, taking this SerialEscalation.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Mind readers are very unhappy people.
* MismatchedEyes: This is the Graceling indicator.
* ObliviousToLove: Katsa, full stop. Not just to Po's love for her, but to her own love for Po.
* OnePersonOnePower
* PromotionToLoveInterest: Happens to Po about halfway through the book.
* RomanticFalseLead: Poor, poor Giddon.
* RunningGag: Katsa "abusing" her horses from overwork. Probably also qualifies as Somewhere an Equestrian is Crying. Seriously, she rides her horses full tilt at night for hours because its 'only' five or six more leagues until they get home and she's too impatient to wait for morning. One of the other characters asks if she is still ruining the horses.
* ShutUpHannibal: Randa gives Katsa a HannibalLecture when she refuses to obey him. She responds by telling him exactly how she could kill every guard in the throne room and himself, before leaving.
* StayInTheKitchen: Society's opinion of women.
* SuperpowerLottery: Graces can be anything from being good at climbing trees to dancing to mind reading.
* {{Telepathy}}: [[spoiler:Po's real grace.]] Note that it works only when people's thoughts are specifically focused on him.
* TheSmartGuy: Raffin
* ThouShaltNotKill: Katsa has this attitude in mind though she's forced to kill plenty of people under her uncle's bidding at first.
* TheirFirstTime: Katsa and Po, once again.
* UnstoppableRage: Katsa is afraid of hers. Po has traces of this, too.
* WalkingTheEarth: Katsa and Po end up doing this from Part II on.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Bitterblue. She even realizes that "Po was in a position to see Katsa naked" at ''10 years old''.
* TheWisePrince: Raffin.
* WithMyHandsTied: While Katsa doesn't actually get tied up, she trains in order to counter a situation like this.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Bitterblue becomes this. Guessing from what WordOfGod says about the Bitterblue-focused sequel, this will bite her in the ass later.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Katsa gives one to Randa during her ShutUpHannibal moment by detailing ''exactly'' how she could slaughter him and every one of the two hundred guards he has surrounding her. Internally, she acknowledges that she'd be lucky to survive the bloodbath herself, but Randa would certainly die and the death toll would be ''tremendous'' regardless.
* WriterOnBoard: Katsa's beliefs on marriage and having children. WordOfGod even admits that some of her beliefs got transferred into the novel.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Raffin dyes his hair blue by accident.

!! The SpinOff, ''Fire'', provides examples of:

* [[AbsurdlyYouthfulMother Absurdly Youthful Father]]: [[spoiler:[[SpearCounterpart Brigan.]]]]
* ActionGirl: Fire's guard contains over five hundred of these thanks to Brigan. Hanna is confirmed. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of way, in the third book, Hanna is mentioned to have succeeded her father as army commander.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Ah, Fire.
* {{Amazing Technicolor Wildlife}}: Animal monsters.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Again.
* {{Bi The Way}}: Fire's first lover was a maid named Liddy, whom Cansrel sent away to end their relationship.
* BodyHorror: Brocker's legs were shattered. Not broken, shattered. By eight men taking turns with mallets.
* BlessedWithSuck: Defines Fire's life.
* TheCasanova: Archer.
* {{Closed Door Rapport}}: Fire insists on this with Nash at first, since seeing her face reduces him to a babbling idiot. Eventually he gets better.
* {{Cool Horse}}: Subverted when Fire chooses a plain, but good-natured gelding instead of the showy mare Cansrel picked for her. Played straight with the river horse that "adopts" her after [[spoiler: her escape from Leck's hideout]].
* CreepyChild: Leck.
* CrapsackWorld: Very much so, though the royal family are trying to make it less of one.
* DeathByChildbirth: Archer's mother and Hanna's mother.
* DirtyMindReading: Mind reading + SoBeautifulItsACurse = ...remember when we said Fire's life was built around BlessedWithSuck?
* AFatherToHisMen: Brigan, very much so.
* EnfantTerrible: Leck. Isn't it nice to know that [[spoiler: torturing animals and killing people]] has been going on his whole life?
* {{Friend To All Living Things}}: Fire loves animals and they love her, especially since she can sense their minds.
* {{Friend To All Children}}: Fire again, which is why her resolution to remain the last of her kind is so difficult to keep. She compensates by taking care of her friends' children.
* {{Friends With Benefits}}: Fire and Archer. He wants to marry her, but the more he asks, the more it irritates her.
* {{Genius Ditz}}: Clara may seem silly at first meeting, but she's actually one of the Dells' highest-ranking spymasters.
* GreenEyedMonster: [[TheCasanova Ironically]], Archer.
* HeroicBastard: Clara, Garan, Archer, [[spoiler:and Brigan.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Fire has one after [[spoiler:she kills her father]]. And another, years later, when [[spoiler:she finds Archer's body]].
* HeroesWantRedheads: Fire.
* HumansAreBastards: Fire's monster beauty tends to bring out the worst in people.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: [[spoiler:See SelfMadeOrphan]].
* {{I Love You Because I Cant Control You}}: Brigan's mind is so disciplined that he can block Fire's powers, which unsettles her, but is also a part of what makes her fall for him.
* {{If You Die I Call Your Stuff}}: Just before a dangerous mission, Fire jokingly does this in order to get a sleepy Brigan to pay attention.
* {{Ill Girl}}: Garan is an Ill Man.
* InverseLawOfFertility: A variation. Fire, as mentioned, wants children, and she's physically capable of having them [[spoiler:at least until she utilizes a permanent form of FantasyBirthControl]] but she doesn't dare, because she doesn't want to give birth to someone who could become another Cansrel.
** Meanwhile, [[spoiler: Mila and Clara]] become pregnant purely by accident.
* LadykillerInLove: Archer is a slut, but he does love Fire.
* LamarckWasRight: A large theme of the story is [[DefiedTrope defying this]]. "If we are all to be judged by our parents and grandparents, we all may as well impale ourselves on pointy bits of rock."
* LastOfHerKind: And Fire is damn well going to keep it that way.
* {{Like Parent Like Spouse}}: [[spoiler: No wonder Fire falls in love with gray-eyed, stoic, military genius Brigan. He's Brocker's son.]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: Hoooooo boy. [[spoiler:Fire I Am Your Grandmother, Archer I Am Your Real Father (semi-subverted since Archer always knew he wasn't really Brocker's son), and Brigan I Am Your Father.]]
* MoralityPet: In a rare instance, TheProtagonist ''is'' the pet; Fire was this to Cansrel. Hanna to Brigan, too, although he's not mean, just cold.
* MoralityChain: Subverted. Fire wanted to become this, but she couldn't.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted. The blood draws even ''more'' predators to Fire.
* {{Not So Different}}: The core message of [[spoiler: Leck's]] BreakingSpeech o Fire.
* {{Offing The Offspring}}: [[spoiler: Archer is shot by his biological father (see {{Rape As Backstory}}), though it's not known if either one knew about it.]]
* OnePersonOnePower: Each Graceling has one Grace, although it is possible to elaborate on it.
* OneSteveLimit: Followed technically, but Nash and Nax are close enough together to be annoying.
* {{Only Known By Their Nickname}}: Archer's real name is Arklin, but no one calls him that.
* {{Parental Substitute}}: Brocker to Fire, even while Cansrel was still alive.
* PetTheDog: In Brigan's case, be nice to the monster's horse and replace her broken violin.
* PosthumousCharacter: Cansrel and King Nax. Cansrel is quite well developed like this, too.
* RapeAsBackstory: Archer was conceived this way when mad King Nax sent a man to rape Brocker's wife as revenge against Brocker [[spoiler:for sleeping with, and impregnating, Queen Roen]].
* RetiredBadass: Brocker was the king's best war leader.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The ''entire'' royal family.
* {{Sibling Love Triangle}}: Nash/Fire/Brigan.
* SecondLove: For both protagonists.
* {{Sexy Shirt Switch}}: Archer finds this "impossibly sweet", oblivious to the fact that Fire's doing it to cover up some bruises.
* {{Shotacon}} and {{Lolicon}}: Nax and Cansrel are mentioned to have had children from the court 'to make a change from the women'.
* SkunkStripe: Queen Roan.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: ''Heavily'' deconstructed with Fire. She gets an extra, even worse facet, though: The same beauty makes her a predator magnet of both the animal ''and'' human variety, to the point that she is assigned a permanent twenty-person guard and isn't even allowed to sleep alone -- two of her female guards must always be with her -- once she's at the palace, as there are too many people who might want to hurt her, or even just barge into her rooms for the sole purpose of staring at her or touching her hair.
** The book is very good at taking the idea of someone being 'impossibly beautiful' to the point of being nearly irresistible and showing ''just how awful that would be''. Even leaving aside all of the obvious drawbacks mentioned above, there are smaller, more emotion-based ones that would be just as psychologically hard to deal with. Much of human empathy comes from how people look; the crappier someone looks, the more likely a person is to feel sympathy/empathy for them and reach out with comfort and understanding. Even when beaten, bruised, sickly, and crying, Fire is still the most gorgeous creature in the Dells. How she looks will almost never reflect how she truly feels. Fire herself puts it best:
--->"I'm not how I look," [Fire] said suddenly, bursting into tears. "I look beautiful and placid and delightful, but that's not how I feel. I will be sad. I will be sad, and confused, and irritable, very often."
* SelfMadeOrphan: Leck in the prologue, [[spoiler:and a heroic version with Fire]].
* SpinOff
* StayInTheKitchen: Brigan defies this on a wide scale. Thanks to her , women are now permitted to become full members of the army.
* {{Tall Dark And Handsome}}: Subverted with Brigan. He's got the tall and dark part down, but he is explicitly described as being quite plain in appearance, and certainly not handsome.
* {{They Call Him Sword}}: Archer
* TrueCompanions
* {{We Can Rule Together}}: [[spoiler: Leck wants Fire as his "partner". Her answer is to send him falling into some sharp rocks, explaining why he has an eyepatch in the later book.]]
* {{We Have Ways Of Making You Talk}}: Fire herself, albeit very reluctantly and after much persuasion, uses her monster powers to interrogate prisoners. Justified as she's working to prevent a three-way war.
* WhatTheHellHero: [[spoiler:Garan]] gives Fire an ''epic'' one due to her [[spoiler:spending so much time wallowing in her grief rather than doing anything useful]].
* TheWisePrince: Brigan.
* WomanScorned: [[spoiler:Nax was the SpearCounterpart.]]
* {{Worthy Opponent}}: Fire has a certain respect for Murgda, one of the rebel leaders.
* {{Wrong Context Magic}}: Leck is a Graceling in a country that's never heard of them.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Archer was lucky for a while, but Fire eventually dumps him.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Fire fits pretty well if you place the Dells in the position of family: A sweet girl with inner iron that tries to be a MoralityChain and lives [[FantasyCounterpartCulture east of the first book's setting]]
* YouDidTheRightThing: [[spoiler:Pretty much everyone tells Fire this in regard to her deliberately causing the death of her father and making it look like a suicide]]. Considering [[DarkestHour what would have happened]] had he lived, they're not wrong.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Monsters. Cansrel had literal blue hair.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:Brocker and Roan]]. Averted with Fire and Archer, as Fire knows that Archer sleeps around and doesn't think much of it, beyond frustration for the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.
----

!! The final book in the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, ''Bitterblue'', provides examples of:

* [[BiTheWay Bi The Way:]]: Saf.
* CatsAreMean: Death's cat, Lovejoy.
* CompleteMonster: Leck. The story is about the Kingdom of Monsea recovering from his tyrannical rule, normally this trope falls into YMMV but the following tropes detailing his acts leave no doubt, and in-universe he's considered one as well.
** CompellingVoice > MassHypnosis > GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul allowing him to get away with...
*** MindRape: The short version of the above.
*** DoubleStandardRapeSciFi: Averted. Sci-fi rape, yes. Double standard, no.
*** RapeAsBackstory: The backstory of the entire Kingdom is how Leck raped it, not just the many women he raped specifically. [[spoiler: towards the climax it is revealed that Leck used his powers to make others rape and torture for him.]]
*** MedicalRapeAndImpregnate: [[spoiler: Leck would rape women in order to perform medical experiments on pregnant women.]]
*** MedicalHorror: One of Lecks great passions was his "hospital" where he would perfom surgical experiments. His impulse control problems often caused his subjects to die too quickly as he would perform multiple simultaneous experiments on a single person.
*** [[spoiler: ChildByRape:]] [[spoiler: Hava is the daughter of Leck and his sculptor Bellamew. Her mother kept her safe from Leck by pretending she had died.]]
*** BrainwashedAndCrazy: Everyone he affected with his voice, forcing several to do horrible things to other human beings.
* DramatisPersonae: There's one at the back, written by Bitterblue's librarian, Death.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Bitterblue suspects there is one, her [[VoiceOfTheResistance new friends]] are sure there is one.
* HeroicBastard: [[spoiler:Bitterblue's half sister Hava saves her life a few times but is the only person to know they are related]]
* {{It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY}}: Although this information is of questionable relevance to this record; Death, the Royal Librarian of Monsea , would merely like to remind everyone that his name is pronounced to rhyme with 'teeth'.
* [[LoliCon Lolicon]]: [[CompleteMonster Leck]], of course. ( [[ParentalIncest Even towards his own daughter.]]) [[NightmareFuel Because he wasn't disturbing enough yet!]]
* [[KingIncognito Queen Incognito]] The plot is mostly kicked off by Bitterblue doing this.
* [[RapeByProxy Rape by Proxy]]: Leck, again. Just to make it worse, he used [[spoiler:''other men'']] as the proxy.
----
[[redirect:Literature/{{Graceling}}]]
12th Mar '13 10:19:56 PM Redazrael
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* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Katsa gives one to Randa during her ShutUpHannibal moment by detailing ''exactly'' how she could slaughter him and every one of the two hundred guards he has surrounding her.

to:

* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Katsa gives one to Randa during her ShutUpHannibal moment by detailing ''exactly'' how she could slaughter him and every one of the two hundred guards he has surrounding her. Internally, she acknowledges that she'd be lucky to survive the bloodbath herself, but Randa would certainly die and the death toll would be ''tremendous'' regardless.
8th Jan '13 6:21:14 PM thebluejay
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** These last two are from the Kingdom of Leonid where most names are based on colours.

to:

** These last two are from the Kingdom of Leonid Lienid where most names are based on colours.
6th Jan '13 8:47:50 AM SeptimusHeap
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* BestialityIsDepraved: [[spoiler:Implied that King Leck does this to animals at his orphanage before brutally hacking them to bits.]]



* ButYouScrewOneGoat: [[spoiler:Implied that King Leck does this to animals at his orphanage before brutally hacking them to bits.]]
** YMMV on whether that was the implication, or if [[spoiler:Leck simply liked hurting them]].
20th Dec '12 10:55:09 AM SeptimusHeap
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* TheArcher: [[MeaningfulName Archer]] didn't get his nickname from swordfighting.
** Fire.
19th Dec '12 11:54:10 AM SeptimusHeap
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* {{Green Eyed Redhead}}: Fire, who inherited it from her mother
11th Dec '12 10:20:38 PM Redazrael
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** taking the idea of someone being 'impossibly beautiful' to the point of being nearly irresistible and showing ''just how awful that would be''. Even leaving aside all of the obvious drawbacks mentioned above, there are smaller, more emotion-based ones that would be just as psychologically hard to deal with. Much of human empathy comes from how people look; the crappier someone looks, the more likely a person is to feel sympathy/empathy for them and reach out with comfort and understanding. Even when beaten, bruised, sickly, and crying, Fire is still the most gorgeous creature in the Dells. How she looks will almost never reflect how she truly feels. Fire herself puts it best:

to:

** The book is very good at taking the idea of someone being 'impossibly beautiful' to the point of being nearly irresistible and showing ''just how awful that would be''. Even leaving aside all of the obvious drawbacks mentioned above, there are smaller, more emotion-based ones that would be just as psychologically hard to deal with. Much of human empathy comes from how people look; the crappier someone looks, the more likely a person is to feel sympathy/empathy for them and reach out with comfort and understanding. Even when beaten, bruised, sickly, and crying, Fire is still the most gorgeous creature in the Dells. How she looks will almost never reflect how she truly feels. Fire herself puts it best:
21st Nov '12 12:34:56 PM ChocolateRob
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Added DiffLines:

* {{It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY}}: Although this information is of questionable relevance to this record; Death, the Royal Librarian of Monsea , would merely like to remind everyone that his name is pronounced to rhyme with 'teeth'.
10th Nov '12 6:49:32 PM Aiguille
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''Graceling'' is a fantasy YoungAdult novel by first-time author Kristin Cashore. The heroine, [[ActionGirl Katsa]], is "Graced" with [[CursedWithAwesome the power to kill with her bare hands]] and is forced to [[CareerKillers utilize her Grace]] for her uncle King Randa's dirty work. Scorned and feared because of her Grace, Katsa remains relatively friendless and accepts the fact that people won't ever be comfortable or brave enough to look into her [[MismatchedEyes blue-and-green eyes]]. When she encounters a Graceling prince on one of her missions, Katsa has no idea how her life will begin to change...

to:

''Graceling'' is a fantasy YoungAdult novel by first-time author Kristin Cashore. The heroine, [[ActionGirl Katsa]], is "Graced" with [[CursedWithAwesome the power to kill with her bare hands]] and is forced to [[CareerKillers [[ProfessionalKiller utilize her Grace]] for her uncle King Randa's dirty work. Scorned and feared because of her Grace, Katsa remains relatively friendless and accepts the fact that people won't ever be comfortable or brave enough to look into her [[MismatchedEyes blue-and-green eyes]]. When she encounters a Graceling prince on one of her missions, Katsa has no idea how her life will begin to change...
24th Oct '12 8:01:11 PM LadyPhantomhive
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Added DiffLines:

* [[BiTheWay Bi The Way:]]: Saf.


Added DiffLines:

* [[RapeByProxy Rape by Proxy]]: Leck, again. Just to make it worse, he used [[spoiler:''other men'']] as the proxy.
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