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YA Fantasy Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Realm #3)

Review copy courtesy of Gollanz Geeks

Synopsis from Goodreads
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.

Whatever that past holds.

Two thieves, who have sworn only to 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, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . . 

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£3.99) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
Beautiful book. After so many disappointed reviews I was bracing myself for the worst, but Bitterblue was quirky, puzzling and utterly lovely.

I love Kristin Cashore, and I could see how meticulously she crafted this dreamy, confusing world where queen Bitterblue lives in her tower and tries to make sense of the kingdom after Leck. Leck, whose mostrous nature we've been following through Graceling and Fire.

You see, Bitterblue is a truthseeker, and while she doesn't realise it, her nature drives her to dig through the lies and silence her councellors surround and suffocate her with. So she sneaks out of the palace every night to listen to the stories people tell in taverns of her capital to get the truth of what's going on. 

Monsea's descriptions are wonderful: weird bridges and bizarre architecture of the palace, crazy things that are happening to everyone around her and of course Bitterblue's wonderful friendship with Katsa and Po, and her attraction to a daring thief Saf.

There is so much going on in Bitterblue, you get exhausted in the end. Conspiracies that don't make sense, strange cover ups, spontaneous suicides and murders, ciphers and terrible truths, painful reconnection to Bitterblue's own memories... All as a legacy of Leck's terrible rule. And poor Bitterblue has to deal with it all.

I'm intentionally not giving away any spoilers because this book deserves to be savored, so the truth of it all will fit like a key into a puzzle and everything will start making sense again.

Wonderful story and wonderful experience, very much recommended.

* * *
Очень милая, грустная и странная книжка, которую я читала с огромным удовольствием.

Вот люблю я Кашор, и несмотря на плохие рецензии Биттерблю, в этой книге я совершенно не разочаровалась.

Королева Биттерблю живёт в своём дворце, пытаясь быть идеальной правительницей для людей Монси, пострадавших от сороколетнего режима её отца - монстра Лека,с которым мы познакомились в двух предыдущих книгах серии. Биттерблю - искатель правды, и хотя она об этом не подозревает, именно её дар позволяет ей видеть как её любимые советники что-то от неё скрывают, так как очень многое в Монси кажется ей совершенно не логичным и бессмысленным.

Биттерблю начинает сбегать из дворца ночами и бродить по тавернам города, слушая истории различных сказителей. Она знакомится с парой воришек и именно они начинают раскрывать ей глаза на то, что происходит в стране. 

Сама книга - это лабиринт различных историй, странных архитектурных сооружений Лекса, шифров, потерянных воспоминаний, искалеченных душ, неожиданных убийств и самоубийств, прекраснейшей дружбы между Биттерблю и Катсой с принцем По и очень опасных интриг и заговоров. Её надо читать медленно, постепенно раскрывая её загадки и секреты, но это этого вы получите одно удовольствие.

Очень рекомендую!


Unknown said...

Glad you enjoyed this, K. I was one of the disappointed readers. After the long wait, it just didn't make up for it. Regardless, I still love this author. :)

Christina said...

Because of all the reviews, I've still not read this one. Graceling and Fire were made of perfection for me, so I'm a bit scared of Bitterblue. Glad you did still like it, although I don't want to be exhausted in the end, except emotionally. :-p

Blodeuedd said...

I am unsure. Book 1 sucked! Book 2 was so good! So...yeah

Aurian said...

I have not been attracted by this series at all, but your review makes me want to read it! I don't suppose reading only the third is an option?

Melliane said...

I need to try this series one day, keep hearing great things about it. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too.

Maycee Greene said...

I loved this trilogy. Bitterblue has some fascinating events,lots of tension. Very creative and original. Read them all, start with Graceling.

Micky Johnson (Local SEO Houston )

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