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Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Kristin Cashore

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0652013,776 (4.06)271
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.
Authors:Kristin Cashore
Info:Gollancz (2013), Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (2012)

  1. 131
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Cpassmore)
  2. 121
    Fire by Kristin Cashore (Anonymous user)
  3. 31
    Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For code breaking an unknown language; for libraries of secrets.
  4. 10
    Deerskin by Robin McKinley (emperatrix)
    emperatrix: similar themes, both are dark YA novels about girls overcoming emotional struggles
  5. 10
    Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For inheriting the shattered remains of a kingdom.
  6. 21
    A Great and Terrible Beauty / Rebel Angels / The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (cablesclasses)
  7. 01
    Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: And now for something completely different...

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» See also 271 mentions

English (199)  German (2)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
this was very good, but very complicated. I think it would have been easier had I reread Graceling since reading Fire. I think it also would have been easier if I had known that Fire took place nearly 50 years before this one. I think I managed to confuse Leck and the father in the Dells together, which made it really really hard to follow things for a while. ( )
  tanaise | Jul 17, 2022 |
Oh boy was this a disappointment. I pretty much devoured Graceling, and liked Fire all right, so I was expecting to enjoy this book. Nope!

Among the problems in this book:
The romance subplot adds nothing - unlike in Graceling and Fire. Bitterblue doesn't seem to learn about herself or grow as a person, the romance subplot seems to just teach her that kissing is nice.
Nobody ever said anything with a personality - it felt like every other line, someone was saying something either blandly or dryly. That really grinds on your nerves after a while!
The sort of overall plot - people recovering from mind control while Bitterblue discovers there are parts of the castle she's never been in - didn't really make sense given the, what, 8 year in-universe gap between this book and Graceling. I get the mind control fog was thick, but, come on. 8 years and people are still recovering?? Bitterblue's almost 18 and had no idea there was an art gallery in her home??
The TOTALLY pointless Gracelings. Okay, not every Grace has to be super interesting or super useful. But did we really have to waste page space meeting a kitchen employee who has a Grace where he can smell people and know what food they'd find most desirable at that moment? He never comes up again, and the Grace is pointless (just ask people what they want!), and it was kind of annoying.
The whole "there's nothing wrong with being gay" thing. To be clear, I'm not objecting to the message. Just, it doesn't make any sense in-universe. We don't hear of any religions that forbid homosexual relationships, and we don't hear that any of the kings have banned it, we don't hear of ANY reason in-universe why people would feel like they need to hide their same-sex relations and why Bitterblue is all "Good, I'm happy, they shouldn't have to hide it."

The best part of this book in my opinion was Po playing with a paper airplane outside and then falling off the little stone wall. Not that I was happy he fell, it was just a cute, funny moment in a book full of bland pointlessness. I mean, maybe that scene was also pointless, but at least it was cute.

( )
  momelimberham | Jun 8, 2022 |
I loved this book. I like how sometimes with how things were worded it made me wonder if Bitterblue was a little crazy. It would have been understandable, but still.
Also, there had best be a sequel. Way too many loose ends to tie up. ( )
  xofelf | Apr 5, 2022 |
I want to write a long essay about truth and reconciliation, and how sometimes, in recovery from a national tragedy, too much truth can prevent reconciliation, and too much reconciliation can obfuscate truth. I have a baby; no long review essays. This book is an amazing treatment of that contradiction. ( )
  leahsusan | Mar 26, 2022 |
This was difficult in spots, reading about the cruelties of King Leck as they were uncovered, and about the permanently damaged people that populate the book. Still, I couldn't put it down.

Though this is the third book in a series, it isn't the end of a trilogy. Each book is a separate story, though linked by some characters. The author says that if another story in the Graceling world comes to her, she'll write it. I hope that happens.

I'd rather give it 4.5 stars for being so dark, but that's the only reason I would not recommend this to someone.

Warning: If you really cannot read about cruel things being done to children, do not read this book. Some of the things Leck did were truly evil. ( )
  wunder | Feb 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
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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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[Prologue] When he grabs Mama's wrist and yanks her toward the wall-hanging like that, it must hurt.
Queen Bitterblue never never meant to tell so many people so many lies.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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Average: (4.06)
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