Book Review: Bitterblue – Kristin Cashore

Welcome Oldies Fresh read 102.
Once again I still hate myself for taking so long to finish this book.

Name: Bitterblue
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Firebird
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Blurb from Goodreads

When Queen Bitterblue took the throne of Monsea, she was a child, and her advisers ran the kngdom 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 is unforgettable—a gateway to the Graceling Realm that braids together magic, memory, and romance.

Book Cover Comments

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color palette and theme of the book. That gorgeous shade of blue, violet, ultramarine blue etc. blueis just gorgeous, and I abso-absolutely love it. The rest of the front cover includes this girl in the background, but I don’t really understand, since she’s duo eye colored, she seems more like Katsa to me instead of Bitterblue.

There are three pretty looking keys on the cover, though I would hope Kristin elaborate more on which key was for what, since they were mentioned in the book but only in the form of “the first key”, “the second key”, “the third key”.

The Actual Review

Whatever negative comments I have about Fire and Graceling, Bitterblue definitely makes up for it.

This book is an awesome combination of mystery, romance and wonder.

Kristin’s writing in this book definitely wraps up the entire story beautifully, with the progressing plot that is not too rushed or not too slow paced, though these two elements that constantly appear in the book was what made it really interesting.

Let’s begin with the mystery aspect of this book. Full of intriguing riddles, mysteries, identities, and tons of revelations. This book was very interesting to discover from the very beginning, especially since this book was to discover Leck’s doings in the past, and what led to the country Monsea to corruption. There were so many mysteries, questions, and I particularly enjoyed the extremely confusing-i-don’t-even-get-it decipher and cipher codes. I have to say, the plot twist that was revealed in Part 4 was not something I expected. There wasn’t much of the story where I didn’t enjoy. It was always packed with mystery.

Next let’s move on to the Romance department. The romance department developed really strong beginning from the beginning and until up to part 2, as Bitterblue had other matters on hand and she was sorta on edge with love interest, I thought that love interest can be brought back a bit more often instead of diverting all the focus to Bitterblue and matters. Though I have to say… once again, Kristin knows the best way to squeeze my heart and make it ache to sweet parts, bitter parts, and bittersweet parts :P I also sort of hoped that the ending for Book 3 with the couple wouldn’t end up how Book 1 did, but the current situation just sort of did. But Oh well.

Then let’s jump into the wonder department. First of all, this includes both categories above. Secondly, wonder department as in the links to Book 2, Fire. I have said that Fire wasn’t as good as Graceling or Bitterblue which was true, but it gives a great backup support to the latter parts of Bitterblue, as some of the cast from Fire is brought back into Bitterblue for revelations, resolutions and friendship building. Floor 2 of the Wonder Department is how gorgeous this book is, with the illustrations at every part separating page, the map, and the illustrations of the Castle, Bitterblue’s room, the bridges, and a full menu of important people.

Can I also talk about all the interesting betrayals and mistrusts that happened in this book? Those truths that I learnt was still shocking till the very end, and I really really loved it. I never saw any of those paths coming. What else did I want to say? HMmm…itter

This book also includes one of my favourite elements: and that is Growth. People, humans, tend to grow after facing pasts and going through the present, so they can move on to the future. A lot of characters have learnt to do so, and by doing so, they have now “leveled up” and became a better person than they were. And that is definitely the case with Bitterblue. In half a year, she was overwhelmed with minor military matters, relationship matters, mostly the matters with her country and how her father Leck has impacted this place and led it into corruption, what Bitterblue found out while she was trying to discover what got entangled in that big pile of mess, heartbreaks and revelations. But in the end, Bitterblue believed in herself and accepted who she was completely, and then she grew.

It’s always magnificent to see characters grow out of their shell into the new world.

I also wanna talk about Kristin’s extremely vivid imagination with Leck’s behaviour in the past. I won’t spoil you, but this imagination is extremely vivid, and how he manipulates people into doing things he wants them to do was actually quite nasty. But that’s what gives this book such an impactful impression.

As I said in my previous review for Fire, Fire is not a must-read, but it’s a great backup for Bitterblue. Bitterblue on the other hand, is a MUST-READ because it is indeed very amazing, and you will definitely need Graceling to back you up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this series, and I hope to see you guys read it as well!

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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