Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore (Graceling Realm #3)

Eight years after the events of Graceling, Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea. Dealing with a kingdom waking up from Leck's evil leaves Bitterblue confused, bored and lonely with little clue about how her kingdom really is, she decided to venture of the castle to find out. This one decision leads her down a path filled with first love, assassins, and the truth behind who Bitterblue really is and what she had to do for her kingdom.

I enjoyed this sequel to Graceling. I had wondered about Bitterblue and how she was going to handle becoming the queen of Monsea. And this book explores that and more. Katsa and Po have roles in this though Katsa only makes a few appearance while Po is in the book the majority of the time with a much smaller role that in Graceling.

Bitterblue was basically the story of a kingdom unable to come to terms with the terror and atrocities that took place during Leck's rule. Some wanted to talk about it. Others were unable to deal with it and wanted to hush up the "truthseekers" fearing blame and recriminations from them. Bitterblue is confused and sort of straddles the line between the two. She wants to remember but remembering hurts and no one really knows why Leck did what he did. There is, of course, more to the book than that. Bitterblue finds and loses love, her advisers are deeply traumatized and she doesn't know what to do with them, there are conspiracies in every kingdom and the Council makes many an appearance. And there is an awesome librarian named Death.

(SPOILERS) I had assumed (rightly so it turned out) that the events in Fire would be tied into Bitterblue somehow and they were to a degree. I wish there'd been more with Fire instead of a few chapters if that. I don't know what I wanted but I wish she'd been a little more involved.


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