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(Graceling Realm #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  112,031 ratings  ·  8,401 reviews
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinki
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Dial
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Camille Another was announced earlier this year - Winterkeep - slated release in January 2021 :)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  112,031 ratings  ·  8,401 reviews

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Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
review in progress

Review (May 2012)

Five stars? Four and half? Quite possibly my favorite of the trilogy.

In running for best read of 2012.

Original Thoughts (November 2009)
I am so surprised by the tremendous backlash against this series' arguably non-traditional romantic direction. And yet the backlash is fascinating. I see Katsa painted by some reviewers as 'man hating' because she doesn't want to get married or to have children, which is an interpretation that never dawned on me when I read the
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 4, 2020, ya, starred-2012, 2012, fantasy
Ok, so I did remember Cashore being a pioneer of writing about "controversial" topics in YA fantasy, like periods, birth control, not wanting to be married, etc. What I didn't remember was that she was a pioneer of redcon/nominal diversity too.

1) Fire has brown skin in Bitterblue. Have you seen literally every cover of every edition of Fire? Have you ever heard Cashore talk about her covers being whitewashed? No? Neither have I.

2) In Bitterblue, Bann and Raffin visit Bitterblue exclusively to b
Elle (ellexamines)
This book is a narrative about how colonization can fuck you over. Starring a biracial and ambiguously queer woman of color, it follows Bitterblue as she tries to bring back the traditions, culture, & liberty her dictator father took away from the country of Monsea. Along the way, she must come to terms the legacy of a genocidal, terrifying monster as a ruler, one who wiped away every detail of the country and replaced it with his own imagined world. But she must also come to terms with the lega ...more
Miranda Reads
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
As it stands, Bitterblue was a bitter disappointment.

After the brilliance of Graceling and Fire, I was really expecting a lot more from the third novel.

Book 1 - we explore the Gracelings Realm (people with two different colored eyes have superpowers). King Leck used his grace to take over the realm.

Book 2 - we fall into the land of Monsters (people/animals with unnaturally bright/colored hair have psychic powers). In this prequel, a young King Leck attempted to take over this realm but was kicke
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Graceling fans, prepare to be conflicted. Fire fans, prepare to be disappointed. Because Bitterblue goes where Fire has already gone before, and not only does this book not learn from Fire's few flaws, it repeats them and makes more than a few more along the way too. If you're an ardent fan of the first two books, maybe you'll enjoy seeing Po, Katsa, and Fire again, but, besides that, this book's too needlessly complex, too poorly developed, and just too long.

So the main theme's the same as Fire
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book! It was so wonderful and so sad at the same time! The feels.....................


I love this book so much! Bitterblue got to meet Fire. OMG! ❤


This is going to be one of my crazy reviews! I am all over the place with my feels.

I love Queen Bitterblue so much! And her father was that horrible man from the second book that I wanted a giant to stomp him into the ground. He tortured animals, people and woman. I can't even people! I. CAN'T. EVEN. And at one point Bitterblue and her crew find
Erica (storybookend)
If you know me at all, then you know I have been DYING to read Bitterblue when I first heard about it. I honestly couldn’t bear the wait. This book was first slated to come out one year ago, in April, 2011. Then it got pushed to September. Then! The publishers pushed it even farther to 2012! I was seriously this close to exploding

Hades Pictures, Images and Photos

But it was okay. I’m a patient person. No really, I am! I’m no stranger to the agony a reader goes through when they’re literally shaking with excitement and anxiou
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Egregious spoilers will be behind a spoiler tag, but there may be a minor spoiler or two that I would not have considered a spoiler until there's a complaint. So be warned.

First Line (outside the Prologue): “Queen Bitterblue never meant to tell so many people so many lies.”

Cover Story: I want to live in a place that requires keys like this. Classy.

I like how the covers of Graceling, Fire, and now Bitterblue tie in together. They’re very matchy-matchy while retaining a uni
Ahmad Sharabiani
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3), Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue is a young adult fantasy novel written by American author Kristin Cashore. It is preceded by Graceling, and Fire.

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue and her country were saved from the vicious King Leck.

Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monse
Feb 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trusted
Whatever this book is about I want to read it! Kristin Cashore has won my trust.
Carson T
For those who don't know. This takes place 6 years AFTER Graceling's time. And Bitterblue was 10 or 11 then, so she's date-able age now. I betcha there will be romance. And just to throw this out there, because I JUST finished Graceling and the feeling is still strong. I HATE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not really, it was fantastically written. I just wish the author would continue on with Katsa and Po, the fact she's leaving us hanging over a freaking cliff p
Trina (Between Chapters)
I love this world and Bitterblue was a great main character. The ending was abrupt and there was some pretty disturbing subject matter. But this book shines by pulling in the main characters from the previous companion novels. I'm glad I finally read this series and I'm sad it's over!

All 3 books are inclusive of varying skin colors and races, disabilities, and sexualities.

Potential Triggers (that I'm aware of): Mentions of torture and rape. Injury/violence. Suicide and thoughts or suicide. Dead
Amanda Edwards
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. It started out really good, but half-way through I was ready for this book to start rapping up. When it did finally start rapping up, it just ended with ZERO resolution. There has to be another book coming or this will be a major flop.

The only thing I got from it was the extent of Leck's evil doing. We finally see how truly twisted and royally f-ed up he was. And that was pretty much the story. Bitterblue does do a little self-exploration, but we just barely s
Meredith Holley
Oh, Kristin Cashore, I would trust you with my life. This series breaks my heart and patches it all back together again. This book was so different from the first two in pace, but somehow, and I say this almost reluctantly, that made the end more meaningful to me. I am all about editing in stories, and for the first half of this book, the redundancies seemed unnecessary and boring. But, I don’t actually think they are now. I think they had some purpose, though I don’t know that I could articulat ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Although this is the third book of the Graceling Realm series. This is the sequel to “Graceling” and is set 8 years after events that happened in Graceling.

This book is about Bitterblue now 18 and is Queen. She is trying to find a way to help her kingdom move forward after the manipulation it was under during the reign of a mad king for over 30 years. There are people in the kingdom who want to know what really happened in those years and there are some that want to make sure the truth doesn’t c
Nov 02, 2010 marked it as to-read
I cannot wait for this book to come out! Contrary to popular feeling, I am happy Fire and Graceling ended the way they did; it leaves readers with the satisfaction that the romance wasn't for nothing and the character's feelings were real, and a sense of reality, of not know how each ended. Most of the reviews I've read that have been against Bitterblue being the main character, I have found that almost all of the readers feel this way because they want to know how Po and Katsa ended. Newsflash: ...more
Anja H.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

“The more I see and hear, the more I realize how much I don't know.”

Oh my god, I love how this book brings the two previous ones together so perfectly!
It's been several years since I read the other books in this trilogy so it took me a while to get back into this whole world. Graceling and Fire were among my favorite books about 5 years ago, but sadly I didn't remember a lot about them when I started this one. Once I did though, I just couldn't stop reading and I HAD to
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
8 years after the story of Graceling, Bitterblue is queen and things are just not adding up in her kingdom and she is determined to understand would make her a better ruler.

The Story-What I felt when I finished book was that I spent the entire time under King Leck’s rule and couldn’t really understand what was happening. The resolution of all the problems was really underwhelming and I thought the length of the book was unnecessary for the end result. The book really could have just been a novel
Sara Grochowski
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
I'll start by saying I'm a huge fan of Kristin Cashore's novels. I was completely in awe of Graceling and Fire and can honestly say that there isn't anything I'd change about them. I'm sure they have their flaws, but I enjoyed every last bit of each page, line, and paragraph. That said, my expectations for Bitterblue were ridiculously high. Sometimes, I'm worried to read highly anticipated novels: I don't want to be let down after all the buildup. Bitterblue, however, didn't worry me one bit... ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'M SO SAD!!! I absolutely LOVED Graceling and liked Fire though not as much its predecessor, and I have been waiting for SO long for Bitterblue to come out. However, this book really dragged, and it was as mentally strange as the those whose minds are feeling the after effects of being warped by King Leck.

The biggest thing of all is NOT ENOUGH SAF. I know the book had more to do than just the romance, but it was disappointing how little he was in the book. And the end - I felt it was really unf
h o l l i s
Oof, now I understand why I had weird rememberings of not quite enjoying this on the same level as the other Graceling Realm books. Because this one is a lot. Not just in page length, either (ba dum boom hiss..).

I feel like Cashore has done a really great job up until this point introducing unsavoury characters who have done terrible deeds and that lead-in is what makes BITTERBLUE especially tough in the aftermath. And the way Cashore handled this, the slow, twisting, winding path in getting us
Adrienne Young
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it

I was so surprised when I started reading this book. I liked Graceling and liked Fire even more. I expected to like Bitterblue but I couldn't force myself. It seemed like Kristin Cashore took steps backward. It was jumbled, disorganized, and scatterbrained in the plot and I found most of the characters grossly underdeveloped. The romantic relationship should have just been left out because it was paid so little attention and it seemed so insignificant. It was not essential to any character's ex
Christine Riccio
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Moved pretty slow, but I enjoyed seeing how the kingdom/Katsa and Po are doing post Graceling. I think some parts could have been shortened, lengthy sections about decoding and puzzle breaking dragged on. It was at those points that I would put down the book or struggle to keep going. I loved all the new characters though, Saf was great.
Lea (drumsofautumn)
First read in German in April 2013, these are my thought after rereading it in January 2017.

Alright, it's absolutely no secret that I love the Graceling Realm trilogy and this book in particular. Rereading this trilogy has been one of the greatest experiences ever because it made me realize just how much I love everything about these books.

Bitterblue is especially wonderful because it brings together all of our beloved characters. It makes me so happy to see them all interact together, to see th
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

This is the third book in the Graceling trilogy and focuses on Queen Bitterblue, who was just a child when the reader last encountered her, in the first book. Now she is ruling in her father's place and attempting to right the wrongs of her country's past. This proves a more difficult task than previously thought when even her most trusted advisers appear to be keeping secrets from her. Bitterblue realises just how out-of-touch she is with her people and how deeply their
Victoria Schwab
Apr 25, 2010 added it
Shelves: 2012
A hard book for me to review. I *appreciated* what Cashore did with this one, though I admit that GRACELING remains my favorite.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, arcs, 2012
I should have done my reviews for Graceling and Fire right after finishing them, because now all I can think to write about them is I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, and WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO BITTERBLUE?

Bitterblue picks up (after a very creepy prologue) ten years after Graceling, when Bitterblue is 18 and fully stationed as queen of Monsea, struggling to find her place amid a kingdom just waking up from a 35-year sleep under Leck's rule. She is trapped under mountains of paper and the thumb of her adviso
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
The first thing I am going to do after writing this review is take my copy of Bitterblue, hide it in some deep, dark recess of my attic where I will hopefully forget it exists, and pretend as if Kristin Cashore did not write a third Graceling Realm book. Perhaps I should start off by saying that I am a HUGE Kristin Cashore fan. I’ve re-read both Graceling and Fire so many times that I can give you a detailed scene-by-scene synopsis just as easily as the author herself. That being said, I’ve been ...more
2016: If Graceling was great, Bitterblue is near perfect.

I haven't been this captivated while reading in a long, long time. This is what I expected of books like The Queen of the Tearling.

Bitterblue is the most likeable, rounded character I've come across in YA fantasy since first encountering Tamora Pierce. She isn't pretty - described as plain, and not in a "she just doesn't know how pretty she is" way - and this isn't made into a whole issue, it's just... there. Yeah, sure, she does think on
Reading Teen
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting forever!

I read Graceling and Fire before I ever started blogging. I fell in love with the world that Kristin Cashore created. Graceling and Fire are two of the very few books that I've ever read more than once. That list consists of Harry Potter, Twilight, Wicked Lovely, Graceling and Fire. That's how much I loved them. So, as you can imagine, I had high expectations for Bitterblue.

Bitterblue was a much different book than the other two. While Graceling and Fire are full of ac
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Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College. She currently lives in the Boston area. ...more

Other books in the series

Graceling Realm (5 books)
  • Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
  • Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)
  • Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4)
  • Untitled (Graceling Realm, #5)

Articles featuring this book

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
93 likes · 23 comments
“But that's how memory works," Bitterblue said quietly. "Things disappear without your permission, then come back again without your permission." And sometimes they came back incomplete and warped.” 343 likes
“Bacon improved things dramatically.” 324 likes
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