"I do not just want to read books; I want to climb inside them and live there." -Anonymous

May 15, 2012

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
YA - 14-17 years
by Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pub. Date: May 1, 2012
Pages: 576
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Summary ~ from B& N~

The long awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire.

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 a 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.

My Review:

It was a long wait for Bitterblue. It was worth the wait I was not disappointed. I loved Graceling and Fire. I also loved Bitterblue.  Bitterblue's story needed to be told. Bitterblue is not a fighter like Katniss and Fire, but she is a strong female just like them. She knows what she needs to do and does it. She is a thinker, and wants to help her people heal from her fathers cruel, monstrous and abusive reign. She learns that most of the people in her kingdom can not read. She wants to set up schooling requiring everyone to be able to read. Her advisors are not for this, and Bitterblue does not understand why. So she decides she needs to take a tour of her kingdom and the advisors do not see the hurry to do so.  Bitterblue sees she is not getting any where with her advisors so she disguises herself and set out to see her kingdom. She ends up wanting to seek the truth of what exactly did her father do during his reign. She feels in order for the kingdom to move forward, everyone needs to face the truth and heal from it. Her advisors feel moving forward and forgetting the past is the better way.

Kristin Cashore does a great job with connecting all three books. I love to read and experience the stories she writes. Graceling and Fire do not need to be read one before the other. Although, I do feel that reading Graceling and Fire before Bitterblue made reading it more enjoyable. There is romance, with several different characters, and a lot of puzzles to solve to explain the mystery of what exactly happened during Lecks reign.There is some strong, disturbing content, that may not be for everyone in Bitterblue. But to understand how monstrous Leck was, it was necessary. Bitterblue is a very strong minded character.Through her good intentions to help her kingdom, by seeking the truth, her people and herself sees she is truly strong enough to be good Queen.




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