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Bitterblue (Graceling) by Kristin Cashore
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1,8471613,754 (4.06)244
Member:theadawn
Title:Bitterblue (Graceling)
Authors:Kristin Cashore
Other authors:Ian Schoenherr (Illustrator)
Info:Dial (2012), Hardcover, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

  1. 121
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Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Bitterblue is the third book in the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy. Especially Graceling should be read before Bitterblue because this book continues the story of one of the characters from Graceling. As such, this review will contain spoilers to Graceling.

Eight years after the events of Graceling, Bitterblue is trying to determine what it means to be the Queen of Monsea. Her subjects are still suffering from the effects of King Leck's rule, and it falls to her to help them deal with the aftermaths. At the same time, Bitterblue is still growing into her power, into her "queenliness". She is faced with a number of mysteries, past and present.

This was the third time I read this book (the second time I listened to the audiobook). I remember not being too fond of it originally. Especially compared to Kristin Cashore's second book, Fire, it seemed to be missing something. However, I found myself captivated by the story while relistening to the audiobook. Bitterblue, while a queen in a fantasy world, is a relatable character with relatable problems. She is trying to shed light on a past that a lot of people would like to forget. And someone seems to be intent on preventing anyone from discovering what exactly happened over eight years ago in Monsea.
Bitterblue is a well-crafted story with deep characters that make sense. The issues touched upon by the book are well worth a thought, considering how our own modern world has its dark patches in the past that can be forgotten all too quickly. ( )
  Zurpel | Nov 23, 2016 |

Compared to the others in this series I found Bitterblue to be a tad long... At times the overly detailed chapters about the past drug out and seemed over developed. The plot was still intriguing and well thought out, but I would've liked to see less pages or more intensity. It was rich in history, had tons of mystery, but lacked that overly romantic feel that I craved. I would've liked to see more of Bitterblue and Saf, but still I found myself glued to the story and couldn't wait to see how it all turned out.

Bitterblue captured my heart in Graceling and I was super excited to read about her life years later. She didn't disappoint. I found her to be honorable, strong, and genuine. I admired her care for those around her and envied her strength when reliving her nightmares. I enjoyed reading about her nights in the city and of course reading about her and Saf. Their connection was friendship to lovers to enemies to friends. It was hard at times to not throw the book or scream "just forgive her already" and to be honest, I'm still on the fence about how their relationship left off. I suppose it had to be that way, but the selfish part of me really wanted more! I feel like I need a sequel to know if they are reunited and if so, on what terms....

All in all it was another fantastical read by Cashore. Each time I open a book by her reality evaporates and I am swept away by a magical world with a fairy tale feel. There were things I would have liked to see different in this book, but I think by the end, I was quite satisfied. I recommend it to all readers that enjoyed Graceling, but I urge you to drop all expectations. It's a different feel with a new take on this fantasy world. ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
Arguably the best of the trilogy. The story might be a touch weaker than the first book's, but the emotions run deep. Bitterblue is a young girl struggling to rule a damaged kingdom; her father, King Leck, was a deeply disturbed man who left his kingdom in the same shape as a victim of a car wreck: broken and wounded, with injuries both visible and otherwise.

I rarely have found sci-fi/fantasy novels with themes that resonate so strongly with me. As Bitterblue wrestled with how much to trust her advisers, and with questions of whether openly acknowledging trauma is more or less healing than moving on and refusing to dwell on past pain, I found myself recognizing analogues of those same struggles in my recent experiences. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Years have passed since [b:Graceling|3236307|Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)|Kristin Cashore|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1331548394s/3236307.jpg|3270810], but the seven kingdoms are in only marginally better shape. Bitterblue was only a child when Katsa and Po saved her and helped her take her throne, and although she has now reigned for over a decade she worries that her kindgom is still reeling from the atrocities committed during her father's rule. Her father's Grace was to make anyone believe his lies, and he pushed that power to its limit, by hurting people and telling them that they weren't in pain, erasing and changing memories, and countless other atrocities that still scar the minds and hearts of his entire kingdom. Bitterblue has few memories of her childhood with her monstrous father, and she wants to know what he did so she can make up for it somehow. But her counselors are too damaged to answer questions--if she asks, they withdraw into panic attacks or drunken binges. The records are no use, because he burned them or had them rewritten. As she delves deeper into the past, Bitterblue finds more and more things that make no sense: her father had impressive bridges built where none were needed, prisoners disappear from their cells, gargoyles are stolen from atop the castle while she watches, but when she asks about them, there's no record or remembrance that they were ever there. Bitterblue wants to heal her kingdom from the last 35 years of terror, but since no one will admit to knowing anything about what happened, she doesn't know how. Through cyphers, hidden tunnels, disguises and unlikely friendships, the truth begins to emerge.

Just absolutely fantastic. Cashore has a style of writing that pierces me to the heart: very sensible and matter-of-fact, but deep and true in her way of conveying feelings and relationships. The mysteries are truly mysterious and creepy. The dialog is natural and easy. The side characters are fabulous, particularly the librarian, who has an eiditic memory and a tendency to give Bitterblue books with titles like "Monarchy is Tyranny". I love the way Cashore weaves together the characters and events of [b:Graceling|3236307|Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)|Kristin Cashore|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1331548394s/3236307.jpg|3270810] and [b:Fire|6148028|Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)|Suzanne Collins|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1268805322s/6148028.jpg|6171458]; it all hangs together perfectly. I wish this book could have been a thousand pages longer, and I hope Cashore writes more, particularly in this world. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I already want to read it again. Must reread Graceling, because I've forgotten most of it. Want to read Fire again, too, because there are vague references to it and I couldn't even remember most of the plot. I love these books so very much. Hoping there's going to be another, but depressed that it won't be for a long time if there is. This book was absolutely fantastic.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kristin Cashoreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elbrick, XantheNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelly, JenniferDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one was always for Dorothy
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When he grabs Mama's wrist and yanks her toward the wall-hanging like that, it must hurt.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.
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Eighteen-year-old Bitterblue, queen of Monsea, realizes her heavy responsibility and the futility of relying on advisors who surround her with lies as she tries to help her people to heal from the thirty-five-year spell cast by her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities.… (more)

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