Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
When I first picked up this book, I was very weary. I'd been told by a fortunate friend who got to read the book nearly straight after it came out that it wasn't as good as the other two books in this series and that it was a major disappointment. However from the very first page my attention was grabbed and held onto by a giant pink bear that refused to let go, I forgot about my friend's words of the terrible ending and got stuck into the story.
From the very beginning, with the watermelons and the graves, to the very end, when everything came to light and our hearts were broken and yet the sun still shined, I was trapped inside this book, oblivious to the world as I travelled through Bitterblue's journey with her. When I reached the end, I was very satisfied and didn't quite understand the 'unfinished ending' that I was warned of. However I am a very action and mystery centred person so that advice is not to be ignored if you are mainly interested in romance.
Teddy and Saf are the two 'thieves' that steal back what was stolen in the first place. I loved Teddy from the very beginning, he's a funny, loveable person that makes you laugh every time he is present. Saf is more cold but I love him even more for it. Po and Giddon is very involved in this book, I enjoyed their presence very much. Po and Saf have a very funny relationship, the way they meet is hilarious. Fans of Raffin and Bann will be in for a nice surprise, although I had hopes of keeping Raffin as my Prince Charming, he is now officially taken.
Bitterblue is a story full of adventure and mysteries, from coded messages to the weird watermelon man. Everyone is trying to adjust from Leck's reign, some trying desperately to forget, some trying to bury the past at all costs, in hope that burying it will make it go away and stay away. I loved the mystery of this book, all the riddles that needed to be solved and every question that demanded to be answered. Bursting with love, hurt, passion, betrayal and humour, Cashore had outdone herself with this magnificent tale.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars