Series: Graceling Realms #3
Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: May 1, 2012
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.
Before I begin this review, let me just say that Kristin Cashore is on my auto-read list of authors. Anything she publishes, I will read. Along those lines, when I read Graceling all those years ago, I fell in love with the amazing world that Kristin Cashore created. Fire was good too but I didn’t love it as much as Graceling. Bitterblue, sadly, followed suit with Fire. While I didn’t love Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, her magnificent writing and story telling abilities shined throughout these 500+ pages!
Lets begin with Bitterblue, whom I actually really loved as a character. She’s not Graced like Katsa or Fire so I knew that her story would be different. She’s a strong willed girl but she’s been living a sheltered life. After all, she became Queen at 10 years old so she needed all the help she could get. As the story progressed, Bitterblue breaks out of her shell. All that said, I liked Bitterblue as a character but I wasn’t able to connect with her all that much. Maybe it was because the pacing was rather slow in this book and all the descriptions, thought necessary, bogged me down a bit.
Lets talk about the other characters: I know that in most fantasies, there are a lot of court people we much know, but there was so much descriptions of everyone that…I lost interest. I know, I know! I was shocked too but I can’t help it. There was a lot in those 500+ pages I wished had gotten taken out or shortened. BUT things did look up when Katsa and Fire (who were masterfully put into the plot of this novel) showed up, things turned out awesome. And personally, I love, love Po and Katsa together SO seeing them back together, through Bitterblue’s eyes gave me an interesting POV towards their relationship. BUT I wanted more of them. More Katsa, in particular.
And the romantic relationship in this book didn’t work for me. Yes, I know that the romance wasn’t really the main point of the plot but I love me some romance. And the romances in Kristin Cashore’s other books were bleeping awesome so I was looking for that here too…Sadly, I didn’t feel anything for Bitterblue’s significant other. I felt that their relationship wasn’t particularly developed and it was just kind of…bland. Not a lot of chemistry or sizzle, you know?
Overall, I liked Bitterblue enough. Though my least favorite of the books, Kristin Cashore is one of the best fantasy writers hands down. She has a way of weaving a story together that seems like it won’t work but it really, really does. I think everyone should give this book a try. While some might love it, other’s might be disappointed, which is okay.
I LOVE IT! It's so pretty! And it goes very, very well with the book itself. I also love how the keys kinda look like weapons and that creepy eye in the center looks like it's staring right at you.
My Previous Reviews:
Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore
Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore
Reviews Around Blogosphere: