Monday, November 5, 2012

Review of Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Title: Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published by: Dial
Pages: 563
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:  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.

I have been waiting to read this novel ever since I finished Graceling about 2 years ago.  Kristin Cashore has created a fantasy world that's rich in detail, creates vivid images and characters that you'll form instant attachments too.  There was a lot of mystery in this novel that was a pleasant surprise but also at times I found distracting as I wasn't sure who to actually trust. 

In the aftermath of King Leck's death, Bitterblue is trying to restore her nation and heal it, while others are continuing the horror and death.  I can't imagine how some of these people felt after being controlled by King Leck.  He was a truly awful person and commanded not only complete and utter obedience but also for his subjects to commit heinous crimes.  Bitterblue doesn't know much of what happened then or what is currently happening in her city and it makes it difficult for her to rule.  The complicated feelings of these characters  experienced made the reader's connection to the story that much greater.  To sympathize with the victums led to a greater understanding of the complexity of the situation and each person's actions.

The story itself was captivating and heart-breaking.  I didn't expect this story to touch my heart as much as it did, but the desperation and longing that the story held made it impossible not to.  Thankfully there are many funny moments too that helped counteract some of the more serious issues and a touch of romance to spark your interest. 

Overall I really enjoyed the story, but I was hoping for a lighter and more encouraging tale.  Instead, I got a very truthful and realistic tale that is not found in many fantasy novels but was refreshing quite wonderful. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. I've heard this one wasn't great. I was worried. Nice to hear it is good.


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