Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Book Review

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Graceling Realm #3
Young Adult, Fantasy

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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 . . .

What I Thought
I was very confused on how the books in this series all worked together.  So for anyone else that may be wondering first you should read Graceling to have a better understanding of everything that is going on.  Bitterblue takes place eight years after the events in Graceling and the main characters from Graceling play a part in this book. Without the backstory, you may be confused why some of the characters act as they do.

Bitterblue now questioning everything is in charge of Monsea a kingdom trying to heal from its past.  Bitterblue slowly discovers that things may not be as they seem in her kingdom, so she decides to take matters into her own hands and begins leaving her castle at night. On these nightly outings, she becomes Sparks a name given to her by two people she becomes friends with, Teddy and Saf two truth-seekers they unknowingly tell Bitterblue the truth about her kingdom.  Nothing is truly as she has been led to believe from her advisors, which leads her down the rabbit hole discovering the truth of her father’s reign no matter how much it pains her.

I really enjoyed this as a sequel to Graceling. I was able to see where my favorite characters progressed to while being pulled in by new favorites.  The interaction between Bitterblue and Saf left me wanting more than we were given in this story. One positive thing about these books is that author never makes her characters give up who they are to please another one.

The downside to this story is the ending. So many things are not resolved and if there was going to be more books that would be great but to end with so many questions never to be answered I found as a large downfall.  I only hope that Kristin Cashore revisits these characters and gives some of them an ending.

My Rating: /5

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