Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: May 1, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Nicole of The Twins Read
Category: High fantasy, Romance
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 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.
Graceling is definitely one of my favorite high-fantasy books. It was just.. wow.. When I started reading Fire last month, I seriously had no idea that it wasn't a sequel but a companion. I was around a hundred and so page when I stopped reading it because it was just uber slow for my taste. But one of my co-Graceling fans and a book blogger friend who I wouldn't hide under the name of Nicole from The Twins Read lent me her Bitterblue, I had to prepare myself because it was a massive one. And am skeptical if it would turn out like what I felt for Fire.
The story took off 8 years after Graceling. It was when Bitterblue's at the right age and has been ruling Monsea after King Leck died. She has been struggling with the way her kingdom runs and she just can't sit and watch everything get destroyed by her father's ruling aftermath. She then decides to sneak out and disguise as a commoner to find out on her own what really happens inside and out of her castle and she isn't prepared to the revelations that awaits her and the strange yet compelling commoners she is yet to be friends with.
Initially, the rating I have for Bitterblue was five stars. As the days passed and I was able to give thoughts to it, I made it four, instead. I really loved Bitterblue but not as much as I adored Graceling. Maybe because I was waiting for skills display or fighting but yeah, nothing much happened. The novel was more of Bitterblue's Queen problems running a kingdom. I wasn't expecting much from the world building since I was kind of familiar with it, thanks to Graceling but I was still marbled by the secret passages in the castle and the bridges. Thankfully, there were awesome illustrations in the book! One of my favorite parts? Death's Grace!
What happened to the romance, though?
Bitterblue is an epic ending to the series! Questions are answered and consistency is so fluid. The secrets unveiled will keep you go on until you have unveiled them yourself! Such a nerve-wracking, blood-pumping story! I want more!
"...that's how memory works.. Things disappear without your permission, then come back again without your permission."