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The Bitter Kingdom

(Girl of Fire and Thorns #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  35,258 ratings  ·  2,843 reviews
The champion must not waver.
The champion must not fear.
The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead
Hardcover, 433 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Greenwillow Books
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Goddamn. Rae Carson, you are a genius. A genius among geniuses. If you only promise to write books that are this good in the future, I will raise a pedestal in your honor. No joke.

The Bitter Kingdom is damn near perfect. Hell, it probably is perfect but since I'm too blinded by the perfection that is Hector, I'm unable to call anything else perfect in comparison to him. *swoons*

Top 5 Reasons To Read The Bitter Kingdom. (In case you needed any convincing...which you HOPEFULLY don't because if yo
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This book, while technically perfect and a highly enjoyable read---fell a bit short of my expectations. I've enjoyed the other books in the series, but I don't know...I can't exactly pinpoint it, but this book just didn't leave me completely satisfied; it just feels like I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. I said it was technically perfect, and I meant it. The writing is great, the plot is quick-paced, and action-filled; character development was well-done. It does have its faults, but t ...more

Hector has quickly become one of my favorite YA book boys. I'm not even sure what's so swoony about him, besides the fact that he's marvelous. If you've read the books, you know. You just know. Once he shaved that moustache, it was one big swoonfest every time he stepped into the scene.

I also really loved the new setting in this book! Girl of Fire and Thorns had a desert feel to it, and Crown of Embers had more of a tropical thing going on. But Bitter Kingdom is definitely set in a col
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
you know what?

I like Hector.
Norah Una Sumner
“You look beautiful," Alodia says.
I startle at the compliment. Then I smile. "I’m beautiful to the one person who matters."
She nods. "Hector’s mouth is going to drop open when he sees you.”
“I hope so. But I meant me. I’m beautiful to me.”


This trilogy definitely holds a special place in my heart.The characters are so wonderful,especially Elisa who develops so much as a character and Hector who shows us what an unconditional love is.I've never been prouder of a book character before
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book. This series. Wow. There are few books that have left me waiting anxiously for what seems like a long time to not end in disappointment. I couldn't imagine, when I started this book, how it would all turn out. I speculated and dreamed up my own ending while waiting to get my hands on this and for once, the book was so much better than anything I could dream up on my own.

Very rarely do books like these end in a way that I thought was just darn perfect. Usually there is something in the
Robin (Bridge Four)
Re-read time

I'm so happy. This series has held up so well. it is one of my favorite underrated series, with one of the best slow burn romances in it. Also, how could I ever forget Red Sparkle Stone, she is amazing.


It would destroy me to have you just a little

The Bitter Kingdom is the perfect ending to the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Rae Carson has hit this one out of the park with the addition of a few new characters and the resurrection of other favorites from the first two books in th
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone

“I am queen of Joya d’Arena and bearer of a living Godstone. I kneel to no one.”

Final books are always the hardest for me to write about. It is the end, and I know that there wouldn't be any sequels and things will stay the way they ended. At some point I am relieved how everything ended but some resolutions left me disappointed.

The plot. The crown of embers ended with Elisa and Co on the run. They must save Hector, find out the truth about Godstones, and then Elisa must again prove to be the ru

Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
**4.5 Stars**

A fantastic ending to an amazing trilogy. Elisa's character development was phenomenal. She started out as this character with so much self doubt and fear and ended with so much confidence and bravery. Elisa is one of my favorite female heroines of all time.

I had to take away 1/2 a star because I probably should have read this sooner. It took me a little longer to reconnect with the story and the characters, but once I did I was just so engrossed.

Also, I was just freaking swooning
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it

Usual heroine:
"You steal the man I love? Well, I'm going to cry in the corner for half a book, feel sorry for myself and then just do my best and try to get to you while being stupid once in a while to make the book exciting."
"You steal the man I love? Ha! I will first get a backup plan for my kingdom and then follow you saving lives, yours included, being totally badass, relying on the intelligence of my beloved, and acting like a true warrior."

Seriously though. When everything is
Trigger warnings: war, death, animal death, violence, slavery, torture, (view spoiler).

Sticking with 5 stars this time around, although let's be real: a decent chunk of that is because I ship it a frightening amount.

On reread, I'm bumping this up to 5 stars. The relationship is perfection. Elisa has come so far from the shrinking violet we met in the fi
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the third and final book in this series and for me the best one so far. It’s true that I’ve had a bit of a bumpy ride at times but overall I’ve really enjoyed this series.

I had several issues especially with the first book but despite the problems this series has turned out to be addictive reading. I found I just couldn’t put it down.

There’s already loads of great reviews so I’m keeping mine short and sweet.

The fact is I’ve not been very generous with my ratings because things bothered
I need this book like Bella needs Edward; in a totally inappropriate, co-dependent and life-consuming way.

2013... I want more of my Hector now.

After reading

4.5 stars. Incredible.
Shannon (kitchandpages)
Heartfelt and sweet ending to this series. I had a lot of fun marathoning it this week :)
Marija Jesretic
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just finished #2 and! ; ___ ; HECTOOOOOR, OUR LOVE! When everything was getting SO GOOD. Oh, Rae Carson, you know how to push all of our buttons. Thank you much!
Who's the damsel in destress now? ;D
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
A trilogy that started with superb worldbuilding and atypical characters in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and continued with court intrigue and an epic love story in The Crown and Embers deserved no less than a stellar conclusion. It was with no small amount of trepidation that I picked up Bitter Kingdom into my shaking hands, afraid but eager to learn Elisa and Hector’s fate.
In Crown of Embers, we left Elisa and Hector in a dreadful situation, apart and with far too many obstacles between them,
Kells Next Read
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm a good leader, but you're a great ruler. I am strong enough-man enough-to be subject to you.

I know that it took me long to finally finish this amazing trilogy but I don't regret it one bit. It's always such bitter sweet sorrow for me when reading the final in a Fantastic read. All the characters we great. I will especially miss Storm, Elisa and Hector. These three specifically made this read a roll coaster of gratifying pleasure.

I love Carson's style of writing and the lead heroine Elisa wa
The Captain
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was the last book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy – the first two being The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns). This was a great ending to a wonderful series. A lot of this novel takes place in the realm of the enemy, and it was excellent to see Storm’s homeland. Elisa finally grows into who she is supposed to be with some major surprises along the way. Romance blooms, politics are played, and a fight is had to reclaim a kingdom. This novel also gives u ...more
Maggie ☘
“You look beautiful," Alodia says.
I startle at the compliment. Then I smile. "I’m beautiful to the one person who matters."
She nods. "Hector’s mouth is going to drop open when he sees you.”
“I hope so. But I meant me. I’m beautiful to me.”


When I started Fire and Thorns I definitely did not expect it to become one of my favourite high fantasy series of all time, and yet here I am absolutely loving it.
The first book was enjoyable enough, it was the second two instalments that made me fall in
Before Reading:

This book can not come out any sooner can it? I NEED IT LIKE A DROWINGNG MAN NEEDS AIR! (You all know where I got that from.) I've got to wait till August?!?!?!

After Reading:

“I think sometimes when we find love we pretend it away or ignore it or tell ourselves we’re imagining it. Because it is the most painful kind of hope there is.”

This is a very “quick” and horrible a review because I have procrastinated and I never want to right a review after I’ve read ano
h o l l i s
I mean, what do you expect? I love this series with a fiery passion. Of course it gets a five. But it gets that five because this finale is so much of what YA fantasy isn't. It is unique, remarkable, exceptional, and the character growth, the journeys, are all so realistic and wonderful. And the romaaaaance. Don't even get me started.

I'm not sure this one sucked me in as much as the other audiobooks but that is definitely my fault as I found myself distracted, and rewinding, constantly. Again, m

After a bit of dragginess in the middle, this book redeemed itself with a worthy confrontation with the villain, and a perfect character arc and body-acceptance arc for Elisa. This is definitely one of my favorite trilogies.
Jodi Meadows
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dear commas.

This book.


Please note the shelf placement. That's very important.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fantasy, ohio-authors
Fantastic ending to a fabulous trilogy. I just love Hector being awesome...
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Enjoyed this trilogy and found this to be a very satisfying conclusion.
3.5 stars - Spoilers

-Mostly enjoyed it, the action, characters and romance kept me hooked. However, I was disappointed that the majority of The Bitter Kingdom was basically a long journey - I hate it when a story mainly consists of a journey, I don't find it imaginative or particularly entertaining.

-One of the best aspects of the series was the character growth of the heroine, Elisa. She started off fat and useless and transformed into a confident leader. It was refreshing to read a YA heroine w
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I think I loved this even more than the other two because 1-Elisa is so confident and uses her intelligence as a power to scheme which is so damn magnificent! and 2- BECAUSE HECTOR HAS A POV AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH

I really enjoyed the dual perspective between Hector and Elisa, their povs perfectly compliment each other just like they do. Hector is like literally the best and I have a love/hate relationship with his tendency to sacrifice himself for Elisa. I understand, but
There's a moment when the main character Elisa says that "she is beautiful to the one person who matters" and then she says "I meant me. I'm beautiful to me" and if that doesn't show you the kind of message that this trilogy is all about, I don't know what will. ...more
Elizabeth Dragina
Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
*reels backward*

I have so many things to say.... where do I begin???

First off I knew going into this book I wasn't going to appreciate it. I have read the 1 + 2 ones and knew why I was reading this. I was reading it to warn others. STAY AWAY!! There are so many problems and bad morals for Christian's to be reading in this, it is not good for our minds or souls. So I was prepared to read just to give a review and now that I've finished I'm more disappointed than I care to admit.

Rae Carson had g
This book was so good!

I think this was my favorite out of the whole series - maybe. I loved Elisa throughout the whole book and how she just grew more into her own character. I loved all of the friends she made along the journey too. Honestly, they were hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing so much that I was starting to cry. I seriously loved Storm throughout this book too and I was just wanting him and Elisa to get together throughout the entire book - screw Hector!

Ugh! Speaking of Hector, h
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Rae Carson was born in 1973 in California and now lives in Arizona. She developed an enthusiasm for storytelling in her earliest childhood. She studied social sciences and worked in various industries after graduating from university before she realized her dream and became a writer. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is her debut novel.

In her own words, she "write[s] books about teens who must do brave

Other books in the series

Girl of Fire and Thorns (4 books)
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
  • The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
  • The Empire of Dreams (Fire and Thorns, #4)

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“I think sometimes when we find love we pretend it away, or ignore it, or tell ourselves we’re imagining it. Because it is the most painful kind of hope there is.” 283 likes
“You look beautiful," Alodia says.
I startle at the compliment. Then I smile. "I’m beautiful to the one person who matters."
She nods. "Hector’s mouth is going to drop open when he sees you.”
“I hope so. But I meant me. I’m beautiful to me.”
More quotes…