Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bitterblue By Kristin Cashore


Bitterblue
Series: The Seven Kingdoms Book #3
Release Date: 1st May 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback
Pages: 576

Synopsis: 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

Review:  I was so excited when I received Bitterblue in the post from Gollancz. I may have squealed and smiled like a crazy person but I was so excited. I also love the cover of this book, it looks incredible in real life and it really shows Bitterblue's power and strength. I took a while to read this book as I wanted to remember it and savour it, it was just so good. It's also one long book but so much happens that I doubt it could have been shortened at all. Don't worry though as it keeps your attention from start to finish and leaves you wanting more!

Compared to other books, so much happens that it's really hard to sum everything up in one paragraph. I'm also incredibly aware that there are many spoilers throughout the book and I would never spoil a book this brilliant to anyone. We join Bitterblue eight years after Graceling, she is now the Queen of Monsea who is trying to deal with the the chaos that Leck left behind. It's not an easy task, especially when you don't know where to even begin. Tired of always doing the ever growing pile of paperwork, Bitterblue sneaks out of the castle. She sees the full effect of Lecks powers over her city, and she sees just how bad the situations are. Exploring her city she meets two men, but she doesn't realise how much they will effect her future and how only they hold the key to the past.

I loved Bitterblue when we met her in Graceling and this book just double how much I loved her. She's an incredible heroine, unlike many others. She is wise and very intelligent and incredibly mature for her age. Bitterblue is a strong queen who does doubt her own strength but during the book she grows into the role and realises her people need her. Bitterblue is one of my favourite heroines ever, she just stands out so much from the rest. I don't think I'm doing her any justice but she was just so lovely and she really did care for all of her people, she didn't let her power get in the way, she related to them easily and they trusted her for it.

Secondary characters were also very strong in the book. Her advisers each had a terrible past and this effected their future. I really felt for them all especially Thiel who was probably the most effected by Leck. Po, Katsa, Giddon, Raffin and Bann all made appearances and I still loved them too, each played a key part in the plot and were Bitterblue's loyal friends. Saf and Teddy were awesome, we were introduced to them right at the start and they were their until the end. I loved them, they were complete opposites but both played a key part in the story.

The back story of Leck's reign was truly horrifying, and harsh on both Bitterblue and the reader. We knew that Leck had done some terrible things but the level was raised entirely in this book. I almost forgot about Death, the queens Liberian who also played a key part in translating Leck's messages. The ciphers used in this book were incredible, they were quite confusing and I can easily say I would be no good at them, but of course Bitterblue and Death are, so they team up to find answers.

Another thing I want to mention in the review of this book, is something that is more personal to me, so if you wish you can skip this part. Throughout the book Bitterblue learns that some of her advisers and her people aren't in the right state of mind, and have in today's words mental health problems. I loved how Cashore dealt with the subject. She didn't make Bitterblue turn a blind eye, she allowed Bitterblue to feel sorrow for them. She also ends up making a department for people with these problems which is a really strong move. Bitterblue realises that these people are ill and it's not their fault, its their experiences and she will help them as much as she can. I feel that we need more of this in the real world. People should not turn a blind eye they should be there to offer help to those who struggle. This book really connected to me on a personal level because of this.

Bitterblue is an incredible addition to the series. Its a book about secrets and lies and the harsh truths which you can never be prepared for. It's a beautifully written book, with wise advice and an intelligent heroine! It's a must read!

5/5 Stars!!!

2 comments:

  1. Ahhh, you just make me want to read this more and more. I love the way Cashore deals with things, so I'm excited to see her tackle all of this.

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    Replies
    1. It is a great book. I'd love to hear what you think of it!

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