Title: Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Published by: Dial
Read: May 30th, 2012
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.
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.
What I thought:
Ok, this one is now my favourite of the series! Graceling was really good, but I just loved this book! Even though it was long, it just flew by.
This story is centered around Bitterblue, the little girl from the first book who is now the queen of Monsea. Her father Leck terrorized the people for years during his reign, and no one has truly recovered from it. Bitterblue wants to reign as a true queen, but how can she when she knows nothing about her people?
She visits the city at night in disguise, meets some people who later become her friends, and tries to discover more about what is happening. But things aren’t matching up with what is being told to her in the castle and what she sees, especially the literacy levels. Then she starts to wonder who may be lying to her and covering things up, so she tries to try to figure out the past and what Leck did. Yet there’s no clear record of anything that happened from his time ruling. Finding out the truth may be dangerous, for the ones wanting to forget everything will do pretty much anything, even to stop her.
There is so much going on in this book, that I can’t really describe everything without giving secrets away, and there’s a ton trust me. But it was written very well, all the clues and such were tied together and revealed in a way that I couldn’t guess what was going to happen. Bitterblue just won me over with this book, I wasn’t sure what I would think going into it but I fell in love with her story. Katsa and Po make a return, and travel around doing Council work, while also helping her out when she has requests. A certain character from a previous book shows up and I thought their visit was really important for Bitterblue and her growth.
This fantasy series was one of the best I’ve read, and I highly recommend all three to people who want to try it out. There’s romance, action, some magical elements and of course awesome characters.