Lea (YA Book Queen)'s Reviews > Bitterblue

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
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's review
Dec 16, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: autographed, printed-book, own, for-review, favorites, high-fantasy-or-fantasy, made-me-cry, june-reread
Read from May 11 to 24, 2012

I enjoyed Graceling, adored Fire, and absolutely loved Bitterblue. Cashore's writing only gets better with each novel.


I enjoyed Graceling, adored Fire, and absolutely loved Bitterblue. Unlike the protagonists of Cashore's previous novels, Bitterblue is not Graced or a monster. Instead, she's a young queen who enjoys numbers, ciphers and stories. Throughout the novel, her deceased father's terrible Grace and actions still linger in Monsea, causing all sorts of trouble. Betrayal, secrets, and lies run deeper than imaginable. Her kingdom is filled with oddities that no one wants to explain or fix. With each new twist, another round of suspects appear along with more questions, and ultimately creates even more doubts about everything and everyone as Bitterblue struggles to reveal the truth.

Curious revelations, first love, and Bitterblue's transformation into the queen Monsea needs, Bitterblue gradually builds into a phenomenal story. Bitterblue herself is a remarkable young woman with a subtle strength, sharp humor, and a need for the truth. It was intriguing to watch her character grow with each chapter. However, do not go into this book expecting something like Cashore's previous works. Bitterblue delves deeper and into darker places in order to unravel the mysteries in Monsea. There are lovely, lighthearted moments, along with others that will have you near (or in) tears. The story moves as a slow pace, picking up every now and then with short bursts of action, before simmering down again into a steady rhythm. All in all, Bitterblue is an outstanding novel that is well worth the time that it takes to read each page.

Highlights: It was nice to see characters from Cashore's previous books be present in this one, and through Bitterblue's very observant view of them - Katsa was especially interesting to see from Bitterblue's perspective. Characters as a whole were very well written (especially Death*, Teddy, Saf, Po, Giddon, Leck, and Thiel). The extras at the end (cast of characters, drawings, et cetera) were fascinating. The ending, while a little bittersweet, was nicely done.

Lowlights: I wanted more pages. Seriously.

Note: As this is a sequel, reading Graceling is a must. I would recommend reading Fire since it will help make many moments more meaningful in the story.

* Coolest librarian ever. I kind of wish I had his Grace.

Review originally posted on YA Book Queen

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Reading Progress

05/11/2012 page 36
05/13/2012 page 59
10.0% "I like this very much so far. Especially Saf and Teddy. :)"
05/21/2012 page 306
54.0% "This book = Awesome"
05/22/2012 page 381
68.0% "I quite like Giddon in this book, much more than I did in Graceling. How weird."
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