Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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 . . .

3.5/5 STARS

Compared to the others in this series I found Bitterblue to be a tad long... At times the overly detailed chapters about the past drug out and seemed over developed. The plot was still intriguing and well thought out, but I would've liked to see less pages or more intensity.  It was rich in history, had tons of mystery, but lacked that overly romantic feel that I craved. I would've liked to see more of Bitterblue and Saf, but still I found myself glued to the story and couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. 

Bitterblue captured my heart in Graceling and I was super excited to read about her life years later. She didn't disappoint. I found her to be honorable, strong, and genuine. I admired her care for those around her and envied her strength when reliving her nightmares. I enjoyed reading about her nights in the city and of course reading about her and Saf. Their connection was friendship to lovers to enemies to friends. It was hard at times to not throw the book or scream "just forgive her already" and to be honest, I'm still on the fence about how their relationship left off. I suppose it had to be that way, but the selfish part of me really wanted more! I feel like I need a sequel to know if they are reunited and if so, on what terms....

All in all it was another fantastical read by Cashore. Each time I open a book by her reality evaporates and I am swept away by a magical world with a fairy tale feel. There were things I would have liked to see different in this book, but I think by the end, I was quite satisfied. I recommend it to all readers that enjoyed Graceling, but I urge you to drop all expectations. It's a different feel with a new take on this fantasy world. 

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