Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 576
Series: Graceling Realm
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: For some reason when I first read about Bitterblue in Graceling I didn't really like her. Something about her just seemed to bug me but after reading Bitterblue I loved the character.

Bitterblue takes place almost nine years after Leck was killed. Bitterblue has been the queen for quite some time now but her kingdom isn't any closer to repair than it was when she first became queen. All of her citizens are just starting to wake up from Leck's thirty-five year reign where the citizens' minds were clouded with lies and truths to terrible to relive. But how can Bitterblue figure out what's best for her people when she doesn't even know them? This leads to her sneaking out of the castle at night to listen to the stories. She meets Teddy and Saf while out one night. They claim to be truthseekers and Bitterblue wants to know everything they know but someone wants the truth to stay buried along with all of Leck's victims.

For me this book started out kind of slow, I found the parts when Bitterblue was at her castle less than exciting but that was only in the beginning. After she met Teddy and Saf everything starts to get more exciting and I found that I could barely put the book down. I found myself wanting Darby's Grace which is never sleeping because I wanted to finish this book so badly.

But now I wish I hadn't finished it. I didn't like the ending mostly because of what happens with Saf but I don't want to spoil the ending so that's all I'll say about it.

I loved how we got to see Katsa, Po, and so many other characters again. It made me realize how much I missed reading about them even if it was from Bitterblue's point of view. I also loved how there were maps and pictures at the end of the book along with the names of most of the characters in the story (it was very helpful in the beginning when I was still learning the names and the Graces).

The story kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it. Everything that happened was fairly unpredictable but at the same time it made sense. The only thing I wish for is another book in the Graceling Realm series.

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