Although I felt like I was barely keeping up with all the problems and mysteries towards the beginning and a little of the middle of the novel, I thought Bitterblue was a wonderful story overall.
I missed all of the old characters from Graceling, but loved the new ones too. I was pleased to see how much the original characters grew, particularly Giddon and of course Bitterblue. Also nice that Helda got a little larger part this time. New characters like Death (rhymes with teeth) and Sap were definitely amazing new additions to the story as well. And Leck? I thought I knew him before, but this novel adds a whole other twisted layer to his story.
As always I loved the setting and the beautiful detail put into this fantasy world. Graceling already did a lovely job of describing the Seven Kingdoms especially the Middluns and Liend, but Monsea was just the terrible place where Katsa, Po, and Bitterblue had to flee from Leck. Much more detail and complexity is added to Monsea though this time than before.
My biggest complaint though was that at times the story felt disjointed. I wasn't feeling quite as satisfied with the conclusion because the conflicts and mysteries were resolved at different points of the novel. Although the biggest mystery is solved at the end, another subplot forms immediately after. Also many characters had erradic roles in the novel and seemed to weave in and out of the plot. It was fascinating to see Bitterblue's relationships form and strengthen with all the other characters, and it probably couldn't have been written so thoroughly if the cast of characters weren't shifting, but it also added to the feeling that I was reading different stories not one complete novel.
The novel was still fantastic though and I can't wait to read whatever Kristin Cashore comes up with next.