Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore


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 . . .


I am really torn as to writing this review. First off, if you read Graceling and Fire, Bitterblue doesn’t even hold a candle to these stories. Bitterblue was quite a disappointment in that aspect. I began the story and it was painfully slow, at 23% into it, I contemplated DNF-ing it because I was bored. Bitterblue was boring as a character and all she was doing was paperwork and wondering what was wrong with her city. Earth to Bitterblue, you city just got over Leck’s hell-ish rule…but no worries I can’t imagine any issues with anyone who has been under mind-control for the better part of 30-ish years.

I continued on, under the mind set that surely this would improve, which it did but it took to 83% for me to really get into the story. At 83% I was, giggling and shouting, “Yes, this is the plot twist I have been waiting for!” These were the curve balls that I have been waiting for Cashore to toss my way the entire book and it was truly a shame that it took that long for this to happen.

Finally, the end of the book was very abrupt. I am left with more questions than answers; in addition, there are some confusing conversations that take place and leave me wondering what the heck is going on. I also was irritated by Saf and Bitterblue’s relationship. It was left so open-ended and I felt like they were honestly friends-with-benefits. I was also annoyed with the secrecy of Saf’s grace because really it wasn’t all the impressive or all it was built up to be. The book as a whole, fell flat compared to its predecessors.


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