23. May 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Teen Books

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, 563 pages, read by Courtney, on 05/15/2012

It feels like I waited forever for this one to come out. Luckily, it was totally worth the wait. I loved the previous two books in this series and I love that the series isn’t linear. Bitterblue takes place a little while after Graceling ends and many, many years after Fire. Bitterblue is the daughter of King Leck, who is now deceased, which means that Bitterblue is now Queen of Monsea. The kingdom is still reeling from the brutality inflicted upon them by Leck and Bitterblue is determined to make things right. She realizes rather quickly that she’s never going to get the full story from her advisers, so she borrows her servant’s clothing and slips out into the city at night to learn more about it and the people who live there. What she discovers will only serve to make her job all the more difficult as she realizes that 35 years of brutality are not easily undone, no matter how earnest the monarch.
This series as a whole is fantastic, filled with amazing female protagonists, sophisticated social commentary and lyrical writing. Both Katsa and Fire make appearances in Bitterblue, tying the three novels together. Each novel is easily strong enough to stand on its own, though there is some distinct pleasure in revisiting favorite characters which makes the whole body of work that much better. As a whole, the series focuses on varying aspects of power. Graceling deals with physical power; Fire with psychological and emotional power; Bitterblue with political power. Taken together they give the reader a great deal to think about, no matter what their age. Bitterblue served as a satisfying conclusion to a genuinely rich trilogy.

1 Comment

  1. MRRL Staff says:

    I couldn’t agree more. This series is fantastic. I love the exploration of different levels of power and I have to say that the heroines are some of the best. I love Katsa, Fire and Bitterblue. I really want more out of Cashore.