Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.Review by Nara
But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.
Whatever that past holds.
Two thieves, who have sworn only to 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, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart...
OMG. I just realised that there's a person in the background of the cover of the book. haha I was too engrossed in the keys to notice before. A+ for observational skills lol.
Anyway...the book. I have to say Bitterblue is my favourite of the Graceling Realm trilogy. Actually, the order of the series is the order of how much I like them from least to most- Graceling was good, Fire was great, and Bitterblue is freaking awesome! There was just a lot to like about this conclusion to the series- most of the loose ends tied well, great romance, interesting characters, good pacing. I must say though, my favourite aspect of the book was probably Bitterblue herself.
Bitterblue was a very well developed character whose strength didn't just lie in the physical realm. I'd say, for me, she's definitely the most interesting out of Cashore's three protagonists, and the most relateable, despite being a queen with a troubled past. The way she struggles with her responsibility and the way she feels guilty for the deeds of her father make her a very sympathetic character and one certainly worth rooting for.
The romance was so damn frustrating! Seriously people, just talk it out! I can understand why some secrets may have to be kept initially, like the fact that Bitterblue is the queen. And I understand why the love interest Saf might have been angry about this secret, but seriously! At least let Bitterblue explain why she kept it secret. LET HER EXPLAIN DAMMIT. Gahhh so much angst (good angst though, I guess haha).
And Saf himself- dammit Saf. He was so stupid at times! I seriously felt like reaching into the book and strangling him.
I really loved the cameos from Katsa and Po in this book. Well, maybe Katsa not so much, but Po! Such a stupid name (although his real name is even sillier), but such a brilliant character. There was also a brief cameo from Fire, which was pretty awesome- this final book in the series really just tied all the storylines together, although quite a few things still seemed to be left open. By which I mean I want a companion series.
All in all, general amazingness. Do get yourself a copy.
World Building: 4/5