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Bitterblue (Graceling) by Kristin Cashore
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1,5241344,831 (4.06)233
Title:Bitterblue (Graceling)
Authors:Kristin Cashore
Other authors:Ian Schoenherr (Illustrator)
Info:Dial (2012), Hardcover, 576 pages
Collections:Your library

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Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

  1. 121
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Cpassmore)
  2. 111
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» See also 233 mentions

English (135)  German (2)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I want to love everything about these books, but they just keep coming up a little short for me. Yes, I appreciate that Cashore is writing young adult fantasy romances that turns the tropes of all three genres on their heads, but my appreciation can't cover awkward dialogue, inconsistent characters, and plots that make me feel like I'm on a treadmill.

So close! And yet so far. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
I enjoyed this the best of the three, mostly for Bitterblue herself, for the prose, and for the complicated, rich relationships between the characters.
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
This is my first review, though I have thought of writing others. I guess I decided to put my thoughts down because this book is very different from the author's previous ones. That being said, I also felt that the other reviews came down to hate it or love it (the few one I read before reading the book, of course I didn't read all of them).
I really, really liked it.
The way Kristin Cashore writes is a relief, because each book is different from the others. And even though they're never written in the first person, you can feel the difference because each book is centered on different people with different experiences in life.
It starts very slow and there's a feeling of too much building up to what really matters, but about, maybe, halfway through the book it hooked me. I couldn't stop reading because I had to know how it ended.
It's a much darker book than the others (Graceling was about not fitting in and breaking out; Fire about not fitting in and accepting who you are; Bitterblue, more mature, about right and wrong and how to heal and about how somethings can never be put to right), and I loved the way Cashore didn't shy away from the bad things. Which I found kind of funny because this time she shied away from the more romantic stuff, which she hadn't done in Graceling and Fire.
The twists and turns, the OMG moments in this book were amazing. I can usualy spot whether a character is going to follow this or that path in a book (it was completely obvious for me on the other two) but this time, I was surprised about some characters until, for instance, when Bitterblue walks in on Fox holding her mother's sheets, and others I only got an inkling near the end like, Madlen. And of course I loved seeing Katsa and Po and Fire again, even as minor characters. It was great to see how they'd grown in some ways, but in others (in their core)they were still the same characters I fell in love with in the previous books.
I could have loved it, and if I had done this review before the last "chapter" of the book, then that's probably what I would have put it as. But the ending...it's what ruined it for me. I don't care if it leaves somethings open to imagination, as on Graceling or Fire, but this ending? Completely open. And I am not a fan of cliffhangers, which I'll admit was only in terms of the love story. The story itself was done, but that tiny "little" thread that was left hanging loose? I don't like it.
If there was a way to be sure that Kristin Cashore would write the rest of Bitterblue's story (and I can see how she might as there were thousands of possibilities open at the end of the book), then I guess it wouldn't be so bad. Being the way it is (3 years between Fire and Bitterblue, and Bitterblue giving Cashore so much trouble to write), I'm not optimistic.
In the end, 5 for story, 3 for romance, and I have to cut half a star for the cliffhanger. ( )
  rachellimalopes | Oct 27, 2014 |
Not anywhere close to as good as the first books in the series. I was very disappointed with the 'blah' plot, but the author still writes well. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
Read my full review here.

I was very much looking forward to reading this, mostly because I knew that Katsa and Po would be featured and I dearly adore them.

Bitterblue seems like a more intimate novel since we spend so much time in Bitterblue’s head as she struggles with being a queen, with growing up, with finding love, and with missing her loved ones. She’s such a dynamic, complex character. She’s mature in some ways, immature in others. She’s curious about love and having a lover, so she’s exploring what is means to be a woman. She’s also incredibly feisty (which is equally wonderful and hilarious to read). She’s a strong woman with an incredibly difficult job.

Saf is quite the character, and I liked him despite his rather prickly behaviour for a good portion of the novel. The love between Saf and Bitterblue grows out of friendship, and it’s quite lovely how close they are and how much they care. I have hope that they’ll somehow have a happy life together as more than secret lovers.

What’s so lovely is that we get to spend time with all of our favourite characters from the previous books in the series. Katsa is back, and while she comes and goes in the book, she’s as wonderful as ever. And her interactions with Po are a treat because I love them as a couple. Raff and Bann are also back, and super adorable. While I didn’t like Giddon in Graceling at all, the character has obviously grown off the page in the years between Graceling and Bitterblue. We also learn a bit about what happens with Fire and Brigan after the events of Fire I love that they got married and are a happy, beautiful family.

Rather than having one set antagonist, the antagonist was a number of people, and the memory of all that Leck has done. The antagonist is also, as always, the doubt and insecurity the protagonist faces.

Overall, Bitterblue is an amazing finale to the trilogy. The book is filled with strong female characters, deals with so many important themes and subjects, and is also a great fantasy novel. ( )
  CaitlinAC | Aug 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kristin Cashoreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elbrick, XantheNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelly, JenniferDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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