Monday, July 23, 2012

Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! I enjoyed Kristin Cashore's two other books, Fire and Graceling, and this book was just as suspenseful a read. Characters like Katsa and Po and Fire grace this book and the evil father of Bitterblue, Leck (even though dead) continues his evil even after his death...Bitterblue is one of those strong female protagonists, but she doesn't know it throughout most of the book. She has been queen since the age of 10 but now she is eighteen and so bored with all the meaningless papers her advisers push on her daily. She hasn't ever left the castle, except for once...and she has begun to see the castle as a sort of jail. She disguises herself in pants with a large hood that covers her head and late in the evening goes into her kingdom and into a bar where stories are told about Leck and Katsa. Bitterblue is entranced with these storytellers but disagrees with some parts of the stories. Her first night out when she orders a drink, she realizes she did not bring money. She takes money off the counter and realizes she has been seen by a man who winks at her. Later, she runs into him and tells him she is employed in the Queen's castle baking bread but never reveals her name. The young man is names Saf (Sapphire for the color of his eyes)and he is a Greaceling but doesn't know what his grace is. Bitterblue comes to know Saf and his best friend Teddy as colorful characters who like to fight and lie. Bitterblue begins to find out she doesn't know her subjects (many can't read- but her advisers tell her they have a high literacy rate) and even those within the castle walls. Bitterblue's mother Ashen was murdered by her father Leck as she tried to rescue her daughter from Leck's evil. Leck tortured, raped, kidnapped and killed many children, women and men in his kingdom. As Bitterblue tries to become a queen that is revered; she runs into so many insurmountable problems. But she does not veer and along the way---uncovers deceit, murder, and so many other horrors she almost shuts down. But she finds advisers she can trust, and wades through the those advisers Leck destroyed with his mind games with the help of Katsa, Po, Giddon, Hava, and so many others. The rich characters and storyline are Cashore at her best (she gives credit to the many readers who helped her make this a truly believable story of triumph) and I was just so sorry the book ended! I liked the glossary of characters and drawings of the bridges, her kingdom and artistry included at the end. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

No comments: