Date Published: May 1, 2012
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Number of Pages: 563
I’ve been waiting for this final book for a very long time and I am so glad I finally was able to read it. Though this isn’t my favorite of the series it did have a certain feel to it that made the reading fun and enjoyable. This was a highly anticipated and exciting book and though it may have a different feel to it than the other two books I did feel that by the very last page it was worth the effort. I loved the main character; I sympathized with her and found the world to be more tangible and more relatable than in the first two books of the series.
The plot was very complicated, there seemed to be issues popping up every other page which gave the sense of continued action but there were moments where the plot was slower; where Bitterblue (the main protagonist) had to absorb the shock and news of previous scenes and there were also the moments where she had to discover some things on her on and in order to achieve that she had to take a moment out of the chaos and just explore and think. Some of my favorite moments in the book is where she explored outside of her tower and explored her kingdom, it seemed to me in those moments we really go to see what Bitterblue was made of; her most vulnerable side. The sub-plots in this book were really good too; I loved discovering more about the other characters and seeing how they contribute to the overall conflict of the story. One thing I thought was brilliant in this book was that the author seemed to combine “Graceling” and “Fire” together to make “Bitterblue” it was really brilliant actually. As for the pace of the book it was really fast to me, this was a fairly long book and it took me a matter of about 2-3 days to finish it and that’s not me reading non-stop. I guess the author has a way of engaging the reader with her characters and adding in plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader reading. So overall I felt the plot was really throughout and executed and it definitely kept the reader’s attention throughout the entire length of it.
The romance was kind of low key in this book, the romance between Po and Katsa was comical as usual and really good. And as far as Bitterblue’s romance though there was a tiny piece in this aspect it wasn’t anything that really stood out from the actual plot and conflict of the story. So overall the romance in this book was really low key and didn’t contribute much to the overall conflict of the story.
Loved the characters in this book, the author has a way of creating characters with personality and distinct qualities….it’s like she’s creating a whole league of new people on their own. The characters are very much alive and three dimensional, they were easy to connect with and want to follow their story. It was really cool to want to know the antagonists even more; it was like for once I wanted to understand the mind of the bad guy; to hear his/her story and see why he/she does things he/she does. There was one issue I did have with Bitterblue, I felt she was a little weak…maybe it’s because I expect so much from her but how she responded to certain circumstances was just a little off to me…But overall I very much enjoyed the characters in here and felt that each one was needed and contributed to the overall conflict of the story/plot.
Transformation of the character:
There were a few transformations that took place within this story but none to really point out…it was more along the lines that these characters were finally discovering themselves and therefore allowing their outer view to be perceived by others just the way they were all along. But the few transformations that took place were in due time and none of them seemed rushed. So overall this wasn’t really a key aspect that contributed much to the story.
This book was definitely really detailed; the author went to great lengths to make sure the readers really see where each scene takes place and what’s happening. I loved the way the author chooses to describe things; she has a way with words to capture the reader’s attention and cause them to want to read every little last detail. I loved the way she contrasted the castle against the east city…it really gave the reader with a better understanding on the circumstances of each character and allow the reader to see exactly why they’re the way they are. Also the author did a great job describing the inner thoughts of Bitterblue and allowing the readers to get a grasp on all of the things she had to endure. It was really cool that the author created all of these different types of ciphers; I feel that it takes a great mind to even understand a cipher to begin with! So overall I found the description to be a great aspect to the book and I didn’t feel like there was too much of it; without it I believe some of the readers would be lost within some of the scenes.
I like that the book was in third person, it allowed the reader to step outside of the main character and see all the little details around them. But it was also nice to be in only Bitterblue’s point of view, it allowed the readers to get to know her and see how she works. As for the writing itself I didn’t find any problems with it and it seemed consistent with the other two books. This book did kind of feel different from the other two…like it was a little darker, a little more harsh and somber. But overall I enjoyed the style of this book and feel it was a good aspect to the overall story.
Quote of the book:
““….did it act like a regular rat?”
“No,” Katsa responded firmly. “It marched right up to me. I thought, Oh, here’s a volunteer for my dinner, but then I found myself standing there staring at it like a fool. And then it ran at me!””
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 would recommend this to fans of the Graceling Realm series and to anyone who hasn’t gotten the chance to read any of these books; they’re really good. You can read this book as a stand-alone but from personal experience I think reading “Graceling” and “Fire” first would add more joy to the overall reading experience. I really enjoyed reading this book and series and can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for her fans.