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.I've been out of town for the last few days so I had some reading time. I knocked Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore out in just a few days and I must say I was very impressed. I wasn't sure if I would be because I'd read some negative reviews and some that said it was rather slow paced but I didn't get that at all. It had just enough action to hold me over during the "slower" parts.
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.
I loved the book. It was ALMOST the perfect tie together for the series. I say almost because there were a couple of things I wish would have happened, but I can't tell you what because if you haven't read it already that would just spoil the entire thing.
Bitterblue was an amazing character. Unsure of herself TO herself, but strong and and courageous and the perfect person to focus book three around. She was determined and focused and wouldn't take no for an answer. I was glad to see Katsa and Po back, even if just in "supporting" roles. And I actually liked Giddon's part in the story as well. He completely grew on me.
Saf and Teddy have to have been my favorite additions though. Saf more than anything. Cocky and arrogant on the outside but soft and caring under his hard outer shell. It was great to watch him develop from the common thief I thought him to be to what he ended up as. And Teddy was just a sweetheart the whole way through.
I wasn't sure how Cashore was going to finish out the series, with Leck's demise in Graceling and Katsa and Po going off their own ways to do who knows what. But I was happy with how she completed their stories. Very happy. I REALLY wish there would be a book number four (and heck, a five, six, and seven for that matter) because ending a series is ALWAYS a sad thing for me, but I'm glad it finished the way that it did.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read both Graceling AND Fire, epic fantasies, strong female leads, etc. Go read it. You won't be sorry you did!