Summary: 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.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Review: This review is going to have some spoilers from Graceling and from Fire so I wouldn't recommend reading this unless you've read those as well.
I'm not sure where to begin with Bitterblue. My favorite characters in books usually aren't the main characters, but Bitterblue was my favorite from Graceling and she was still one of my favorites in Bitterblue as well. She was strong, but fragile at the same time and it was an interesting combination to read. There are lots of new characters you get introduced too, but 2 of the most important characters are Teddy and Saf. You meet these guys early on and they're decent guys for the most part. Saf was great, but he was a bit of a brat during part of the book. I forgive him though. He's just too dang adorable. Then there's Teddy. He would be my favorite if it wasn't for Bitterblue. He was just...*gushes*. There are more minor characters I'm not going to get into, but this book was ripe with twisted and broken characters. I loved reading every one of them. Even the bad ones.
The story was great as well. It didn't have nearly as much action as Graceling or Fire, but it held its own. Bitterblue was more about how a young queen had to rebuild her empire after her father wrecked it. Some parts were heartbreaking, and some parts were inspiring. There were some great twists and the last 100 pages might have been my favorite parts. Of course there was a lot of sadness in those pages as well. Bitterblue learned a lot about her father throughout this book and my heart broke for her. There was something that I still wonder about by the end of the story, but this was still a fantastic read. I think it definitely stood up to the legacy of Graceling and Fire. And yes, past characters do return. Not just Katsa and Po, but Skye, Helda, Giddon, Raffin, Bann, and even Fire. It was a fantastic cast of returning characters for sure. I would definitely pick this one up if you're a fan of these books.