Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) by Kristin Cashore
Rating: 4 stars
Just to clarify, the rating is between 4 stars to 4.5 stars, just not quite 5 stars yet, I'll explain in my review why :)
Firstly, I just have to express my love for the cover: It is AMAZING!!! I LOVE THE COVER!!! Super super adorable cover :) My favourite one of the Graceling Realm.
It's absolutely fabulous to dive back into the Graceling Realm with Bitterblue.Graceling is one of my favourite, favourite books. I really liked the characters and scenes constructed by Kritin Cashore. Bitterblue is a book which I didn't want to rush through, not because it's boring (ABSOLUTELY NOT!) but because it contains so much that I didn't want to miss anything, and wanted to take it all in. So it did take me about 5 days to finally finish the whole book.
It's great to re-visit so many 'old friends' such as Katsa, Po, Raffin, Giddon etc... and most of of: Bitterblue! This book is told from Bitterblue's persective even though it's written in third-person perspective. Set in 8 years after Graceling, you see a lot more about Bitterblue and the Monsea Kingdom.
The writing was never a minute disappointing, which is another reason why I really enjoyed this book. The author also makes the readers think when reading it by using a lot so puzzles, ciphers and riddles. (I know right, you actually have to think! XP) The ciphers were awesome, I wish I know how to write in ciphers and decode them :D
The plot was interesting and quite different, it had me until after the last sentence in the book.
But this innovative plot and the many inferences/riddles used in the book can get a bit confusing at times. I understand that the central character Bitterblue was confused, so that may attribute to the reader's confusion. But sometime I just felt so fustrated at the confusion that I felt let it down a bit as a whole.
I saw many people's reviews saying that the book is disappointing, contrarily, I didn't share that opinion. What I did think is: it is very unsatisfying! And why is that? Because there are still soooooo many loose ends at the end of this story! The book is VERY unfinished. Frustratingly so. I was reading the last page and felt like: "That's it?! Is she going to write another book? I can't even contact her and ask!"
Kristin Cashore, you HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK continuing the Graceling story (at least Bitterblue's story). It's so unfinished that it's almost a cliffhanger. (But that just might be my opinion?) There better be a third book coming! If there is no 3rd book, the rating might be even lower just because how undone it felt like to me at the end.
All in all, I really liked this book and I loved all the characters. My favourite character is by far still Po. Po is awesome in this book, very adorable and likable. I can go on forever talking about Po. We don't see too much of Katsa but she is still the way I want her to be. Two new character I really come to love is Saf and Teddy. Saf is such a different character that I felt for him somehow, and Teddy is just sweet. Bitterblue really has grown up, I wish her all the best with her future and Kingdom.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.