Author: Kristin Cashore.
Published: September 17th 2013.
Sort: Graceling Realm #3.
Graceling Realm #1. Graceling.
Graceling Realm #2. Fire.
When Queen Bitterblue took the throne of Monsea, she was a child, and her advisers ran the kingdom for her. Now she is beginning to question their decisions, especially how they handle the legacy of her father Leck, who who ruled through his Grace—a special talent for mind-altering—and his taste for darkness and violence. Bitterblue needs to know Monsea’s past to lead it into the future, so she begins exploring the city sreets at night, disguised and alone. As she does, she meets two thieves, who hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
Bitterblue ‘rules’ after the death of her tyrant father Leck. She has a feeling that her advisers keep things from her and they only give her easy tasks to keep her busy. Instead of pleading for information, Bitterblue takes things into her own hands. At night she leaves the castle dressed up as a kitchen maid in her castle. She meets the thieves Saf (who has an unknown Grace) and Teddy. Saf steals things Leck stole once, so he can give it back to the rightful owner.
I liked Bitterblue’s spark. She can be a bit whiny about her situation, but it’s hard for her to reclaim power after her father’s reign. Her advisers are lying to her and I like that she decides to get the information by going out on the street. It is dangerous for her, so it’s a brave decision. Her character definitely develops in the story and you can see she grows into her role as queen.
We also get to see all the old characters. Katsa and Po visit her and tell her about the agitation in other Kingdoms. The people want to seize the power and put their own choice on the throne. Katsa and Po help them out with their rebel group. It was fun to see them together, but I was surprised how weak Katsa seemed. She cried a lot and I don’t think she did that very often in Graceling. Fire also makes a small entrance in the story and it was great to see everything tie together that way.
The plot was a little slower in this book, but I didn’t mind. The story needs time to set up and it gave Leck’s madness more impact. The mystery around her advisers and what happened under her father’s hand was very interesting. I loved how we slowly unravel all the horrors and what is going on. It was a very effective way to show the broken kingdom Bitterblue must build up again. The mystery around her advisers and what happened under her father’s hand was very interesting. I loved how we slowly unravel all the horrors and what is going on.
I was a bit let down by the ending and the lack of romance (yes, that is coming from me, the girl who likes to have as little romance as possible). There is something going on with Bitterblue and Saf, but we never get a real conclusion to their attraction. It almost feels like there could be another book that will follow them, but overall I’m very satisfied with the conclusion to this series (but Fire will always be my favorite part)