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 to street 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 on e of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: I just stumbled upon this series at a library one dayWho I Would Recommend it To: Everyone should read this series! Bitterblue was an extremely impressive third book in the awesome Graceling Realm series. Bitterblue is a beautiful strong heroine, though not as courageous as Katsa, of course. I find it really cool that at the end of the book, the reader got to revisit Fire (now an old woman), and get sort of a peek into what the rest of her life had been like. Is it just me, or does Kristin Cashore's writing get even more beautiful each book she writes? Graceling was beautiful, Fire was exquisite, and Bitterblue boarded on pure perfection. I loved reading it slowly and savoring each word. Another thing I liked about this book was that the first chapter (was it the prologue? I can't remember) was told from the perspective of Bitterblue as a young child, before both her parents were killed. It was nice being able to step into her world for a chapter as a child and getting a feel (sort of) what it was like to be in her position. I really enjoyed that part of it. However I do think that things could have been further explained between Bitterblue and Giddon. I'm not even sure if it was anything, so I guess I must have misread it, or Cashore gave up on it and decided to just put her with Sapphire (who I totally love So, so, so so so much). I like Bitterblue's character a lot but I couldn't help but like Katsa and Fire just a little bit better because they possessed sort of both a physical and mental strength that Bitterblue didn't seem to have as strongly as they did, which I lightly mentioned in the opening paragraph. I still liked her wit and her thought process. Bitterblue and Saf went through their ups and downs throughout the book, of course, and there were times when I seriously wanted to scream at the book because Saf was being such an idiot! Obviously they were perfect but their love seemed to be quite sudden at the end of the book, which made me feel a little hesitant towards it. All in all, I just loved this book. I'm going to rate it 4.75 stars because although I loved it, there were some parts that I would have perfected if I were the author. Awesome work, Kristin Cashore, and I really, really hope you write another one! (emphasis on the "really")