Amber's Reviews > Bitterblue

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
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Jul 21, 12

bookshelves: gender-neutral-fantasy-world, reviewed

I think this is my favourite of Kristin Cashore's three books set in this world (I hesitate to call it a trilogy, since each book can be read as a standalone). This book is darker, deeper, and less built around a single cool idea (the odd-eyed gifted people in Graceling and the monsters in Fire).

The story focuses on the titular character of Queen Bitterblue. It's been nearly a decade since the mind-controlling, sadistic, psychopathic King Leck's death but the scars of his 35-year reign remain. Bitterblue is a young woman in a difficult situation - trying to be a good Queen and help her country and her people recover from the scars of the past, but increasingly uncertain that she can trust the advice of those closest to her.

The story is both a traditional coming-of-age story, and a story of healing. I like that this book really delves into the long-term impact of Leck's mind-control powers.

Fans of Graceling will enjoy Katsa and Po's presence in the book, but don't worry - they definitely don't steal the show. Fire also appears briefly, tying the three novels together.
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