Waiting for Bitterblue was one of the most unbearable tortures I ever had to bear while waiting for a book. The release date for the third installment of the Graceling Realm was pushed two or three times, and every time that happened, all my excitement was crushed into a million pieces. But truth be told, if I had to go through all that all over again, I definitely would! I wouldn't think it twice, I definitely would! Bitterblue is just magnificent! The long and torturous wait for this book is definitely worth waiting for! In fact, it is extremely rewarding!
Bitterblue takes place eight years after the events of Graceling. The old Graced king whose words manipulated people at his will is long dead. But the Kingdom of Monsea and its people still need to heal from all the atrocities that occurred during King Leck's ruling period. Now, Bitterblue is eighteen year-old and Queen of Monsea. She works for her kingdom from her tower (behind a mountain of documents) but Bitterblue needs to know what's going on among her people and on the street of her own city. She feels compelled to go a see with her own eyes how has her kingdom changed since the dead of evil King Leck. So, Bitterblue finds a way to sneak out of the castle to walk by herself the street of her own city. Here is when the story takes off for a high and graced flight.
Reviewing Kristin Cashore's Bitterblue is extremely hard. So much happens in this book that it is hard to know where to start. Cashore certainly put everything she had to offer into this thick novel. Bitterblue's transition into adulthood as well as her personal grow, as a person and Queen of Monsea, are definitely a powerful point in the plot. However, there is so much more. This novel embraces a whole kingdom and the suffering of its people. The consequences of King Leck's evilness are quietly lying under a thick layer of lies that have now become the weak pillars of Monsea. Bitterblue is about a devastated kingdom that needs to be healed. Bitterblue has to put back together and raise once again her kingdom. But first comes healing, and with that, truth and understanding. Yet this truth may break again her people. Is it better to forget or to remember? Should we uncover the truth even if it's unbearable? Bitterblue is certainly a thought provoking read that will leave readers' staring into space many times during the course of this read.
The love interest (Saf, the mesmerizing Lienid/Monsean thief and sailor) is certainly a heart-warming and drool-worthy addition to the plot. Oh Saf! I want/need a book about you! The romance in this installment is intense yet bittersweet and I am sure that it will stop hearts and take every reader's breath away. In addition, I need to mention that Po is a very important character in this book and I am extremely glad that he and Katsa are back. I really missed them, and their presence in this story gave me an immense joy. Also, there is an extraordinary surprise by the end of the book, which makes me want to raise monument for Kristin Cashore! Bitterblue is so full of surprises and it amaze me how Cashore was able to do all of this so perfectly well. Now, I really wish there is a sequel coming because I feel there is still so much more to see in the world the author has created. The ending of Bitterblue, for me, doesn't feel like a closure, it feels like a beginning!
Exceptionally well-written, Bitterblue is a powerful crescendo that explodes into a series of shocking, poignants, heart-stopping and fascinating events that will, for sure, have a strong impact on readers. Bitterblue is a book that will absolutely transcend in the YA fantasy genre. Certainly, Kristin Cashore in the third installment of the Graceling Realm series, built one of the most extraordinary and complex stories I have ever read. The fascinating and marvelous world of the Graceling Realm is definitely a diamond on the YA shelves and, for every one, a must-read!