Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm, #3
My rating: 5 of 5
(Book read from June 5th to June 13th, 2014.)
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.
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...
My Thoughts on the Book:
Ever since I read Graceling in 2010, I wished for a book about Bitterblue. And later, when Kristin Cashore announced that she will write a book about her, I was really happy, and the waiting for Bitterblue began. And now, years later, I think it was worth it & I can understand why it took so long.Bitterblue is not your usual Kristin Cashore book. It was definitely different than Graceling & Fire, but perfect, and I'm amazed at the complicated & heartbreaking story the author created, woving the past, the present & the future, and giving the finale her trilogy & the worlds & characters she created in it deserved. I think that's why I loved it so much, and Bitterblue is my favorite Graceling Realm book.That being said, I have to admit something. I actually started reading this book a year ago, but since I was expecting something completely different, I got really disappointed, and couldn't quite make myself enjoy it, so I put it aside, with the intention of going back to it later (I sometimes do that). But, soon after that, I fell into a months-long reading slump, after which, when it was finally over, I realized that it won't be fair to the book itself to continue where I've stopped, so I decided that when I'll decide to read it again, I'll start over, and I'm glad that I did. This time, it was different.From the moment I started Bitterblue, I got wrapped up in Bitterblue's world & her mysteries, and all the characters through the book, and I was loving every second of it. The more I read, the more I got sucked in. Kristin Cashore had made me laugh, and made me smile, and made me sad, and made me cry, and overall broke my heart for most of the characters (alive & dead). I loved the complexity of it, the craziness, the mysteries, the friendship, the puzzles, just about anything. I don't want to go into details about the story, but now I understand why it took so much time, and Kristin Cashore has done a brilliant job. Not anyone can pull this off, but she did, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.That being said, even if you haven't read Graceling or Fire, you can read Bitterblue, because everything is explained. But, there are lots of spoilers about both books in Bitterblue, and what happened in them, so I wouldn't recommend it if you're planning to read them, too.As for the characters, I adored them all, both good & bad. Bitterblue is one amazing heroine, and her story is one that will stay with me long after I've finished it. And if you thought Fire's father was evil, he had nothing on Leck. Sure, we knew he was evil & crazy (even as a child), but the enormity of what exactly he has done had no limit. So, you can imagine how tough it is now, after 35 years of Leck terrorizing everyone, how tough it is to go on when people only want to forget. I can actually understand everyone, and it was really heartbreaking, but I loved how Bitterblue doesn't give up on her quest for truth, even when it's hurting her.Bitterblue is amazing & different fantasy story, that wraps up the trilogy perfectly, so when you're in a mood for something memorable & different, I highly recommend Bitterblue.