Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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Title:  Bitterblue
Author:  Kristin Cashore
Published:  May 1, 2012
Series:  Graceling Realm #3
Genre:  High Fantasy
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck’s death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck’s reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea’s past has become shrouded in mystery, and it’s only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle – curious, disguised and alone – to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.

Whatever that past holds.

Two thieves, who have sworn only to 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, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . .

Bitterblue brings us back to the original seven kingdoms, set eight years after the conclusion of Graceling. Young Princess Bitterblue is now Queen Bitterblue of Monsea, and although her land is not being terrorized by the tortuous rule of her maniacal father, the aftermath lingers. Eighteen-year-old Bitterblue is limited in what she can actually do, kept in her castle all day signing paperwork, a daunting task for a teenager. Her advisors want her to just move on by pardoning everyone who committed crimes during Leck’s rule under the blanket excuse that they were under Leck’s control, but no one wants to seem to revisit exactly what happened during his rule.

If there is one word I could use to describe this book, it would be self-discovery. Bitterblue really transforms from being a girl into the queen that she’s meant to be. One thing I’ve really enjoyed about Cashore’s writing is the lack of female dependency on men. Although romance is there, it’s not a major factor, and the female characters don’t shape their lives around their romance. It’s a cool concept.

Bitterblue answered a lot of questions for me. Cashore almost could have named the series after King Leck, but no one wants to read a series named after the villain, right?

I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to this series. Bitterblue kept me on the edge of my seat wondering who was behind all the cover-ups in Monsea. Just when I thought I knew who was behind it, I would read some more and change my mind again. Another five star review for the Graceling Realm series. Do yourself a favor and go read these books if you haven’t already!

5 Star Review

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