Year pub: 2012
Let's start out that my expectations where really high for Bitterblue because I really, really, REALLY loved Graceling and Fire so when I read that there would be a third in the "series" (because they're different main character each books) I was absolutely thrilled!!! But once I got reading it, it wasn't as action-pact-kick-ass-herione as Graceling or very impressive as Fire. It just didn't meet up to expectations.
Bitterblue is a book that is just complicated. It's very complicated to explain, or how Kristin Cashore explained made it so complicated. But Bitterblue (if you have read Graceling then you know she shows a cameo in there) is now eighteen. She queen of Monsea and her dad, King Leck, is dead and now the whole kingdom is pretty much mad. After sneaking out of her castle one day, she begins to realize that she doesn't know a lot of her kingdom and that sets the wheels going.
Bitterblue was a book that is a mystery book--pretty much. And if you know of mystery books, or somehow realize this, that mystery books tend to layout everything for you before getting to the climax and resolution. So is Bitterblue and that what made me lower what I thought would happen. It just was moving slow, taking too much time to say everything. And it was too complicated and when you finally get to know why, I was to mind wrapping around the whole situation to be surprised or shocked.
Bitterblue is still as strong but instead in logic and not in muscle power, but her character lacked something I looked forward for. Her character was vague (or I thought), I couldn't very much relate/admire to her or somehow get into her story. But I did like the decisions she made in the end. Saf was childish, yes, but I felt that he was a wake-up call for Bitterblue to shake her awake. I really liked Death. He is the librarian and his Grace is remembering things and I liked how he got mad, angry, or excited for the simplest things. Fox was a worker and I actually liked her too, how care-free she was. But Bitterblue's advisors are just complicated to explain. They were mad! complicated stuff!
While I do appreciate there is a love aspect going on with Saf and Bitterblue (though the romance didn't meet--like the other two books, but that's okay:/ ), there was also cameos of Katsa from Graceling and a little from Fire from Fire but they felt different, not accordingly when you read their own stories.
So for those who have read Graceling or Fire (or none of them) by any chance you should check those two out before reading Bitterblue because then you get to meet your characters again (who doesn't like seeing their favorite characters again?). Bitterblue came out less than I thought it would be, but give it a go.