Source: Public Library
Age Group: Young Adult
*spoiler alert for those who haven’t read the Graceling Realm series beforehand*
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
Rating: Nice read!
You do not know how long I’ve been waiting for this book! Graceling and Fire are probably one of my favorite books ever. Plus, Kristin Cashore’s writing is so beautiful and I’ve been captivated into the world she created with Graces. Unfortunately, Bitterblue did not live up to Cashore’s previous books. I didn’t dislike Bitterblue at all, but it was missing that fire I loved in Graceling.
First off, Bitterblue was such a different character from Katsa and Fire. Both women were brave, fierce, and strong physically & mentally, but I felt like Bitterblue was a more delicate character. She had gone through such an awful childhood with spots throughout her memory and I felt so bad for her. Also, I felt like she was kind of going a bit insane throughout Bitterblue.
I felt like Bitterblue wasn’t so much about action, but about the characters. We were getting to learn more about the awful King Leck who Katsa had disposed of in Graceling. We got to learn about the kingdom he had built and the lies that had been woven throughout his tyranny. But, this book does not lack action! It was very suspenseful and I was on edge the whole time.
Kristin Cashore kept a lot of the old characters, but we were introduced to quite a few new ones. Saf! At first, I liked him, then he irritated me, and at the end I grew more fond of him. Also, Bitterblue’s advisors have some major secrets! (Sorry I don’t want to give away too much). YAY!! We get to see Katsa and Po!!! One of my favorite couples! Reading Bitterblue really reminded me how adorable this couple is. They’re so perfect for each other and I LOVED seeing them throughout the book.
And, trust me you will love the twist Kristin Cashore writes towards the end. (I’m using all my will power not to write it down!) I was freaking out when I read it! (Fans of the Graceling Realms will enjoy it too!) I was like WOAH! This did not just happen! But, it did and I adored it!
Overall, Bitterblue was an excellently written book, but I was just expecting more of it. I definitely recommend it to those who have already read the Graceling Realms series! It really gave us a lot of answers that I was looking forward to!