Customer Reviews for

Bitterblue

Average Rating 4.5
( 339 )
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(221)

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(63)

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(32)

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(15)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

It's been 8 years since Leck died and Bitterblue ascended the th

It's been 8 years since Leck died and Bitterblue ascended the throne. Her days consist of meetings, mounds of paperwork, and attending to the mundane inner-workings of her rule. She is 18 now, living a lonely existence surrounded only by advisers and servants, having es...
It's been 8 years since Leck died and Bitterblue ascended the throne. Her days consist of meetings, mounds of paperwork, and attending to the mundane inner-workings of her rule. She is 18 now, living a lonely existence surrounded only by advisers and servants, having essentially been locked away in an ivory tower. Becoming frustrated at her isolation, she begins to disguise herself at night and sneak out into the streets of the city. She has been assured that her kingdom is well-run and that her people are educated and happy, but life outside the castle is very different from what she has been led to believe. She has been lied to about many things. Vast parts of the city are in disrepair, the majority of the people are illiterate, and those who wish to tell the truth about events that occurred during Leck's reign are being attacked and killed. She realizes that her kingdom is broken, still reeling eight years later from the effects of Leck and his sadism. Can she be the queen her people need her to be, when she fears that she may be broken, too?

This book is so rich in its storytelling. Bitterblue is just as smart and fierce as we saw her in Graceling, but she is also sad and lonely and confused. The closer she gets to the truth, the more lengths certain people will go to hide it. Little by little she finds the pieces of the puzzle and begins to construct the true picture of Leck's legacy, but we are never entirely sure whom of those around her can be trusted. The truths that Bitterblue uncovers are heartbreaking and terrible, but she must persevere in order for her kingdom to move forward and heal.

We see quite a bit of Po, and some of Katsa as well as a few other characters from the first book (Giddon, Bann, Raffin, Skye), and it's interesting to see how very little they've changed over the years. I thought one or two of them might be married by now, might have families, etc, but no. They are heavily involved in the Council, which has become much more powerful throughout the seven kingdoms.

The beginning was great, I was hooked immediately; the ending is satisfying, all the loose ends are tied up. My one quibble with the book is the bloated middle. It could have been trimmed down and the story would have flowed better, in my opinion. There are too many subplots involving too many minor characters and after a while it became tedious. Enough bits of the main story kept bobbing up to keep my interest, but I think it should have been more concise. Overall, though, I loved it. I hope Cashore keeps writing about strong female characters. It's so refreshing.

posted by OliviaMay on May 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

This book is disappointing. Started out great then gets horribl

This book is disappointing. Started out great then gets horribly bogged down in castle politics that never ends. Very disjointed unsatisfying read.

posted by Eileen204 on May 17, 2012

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Page 1 of 17
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    It's been 8 years since Leck died and Bitterblue ascended the th

    It's been 8 years since Leck died and Bitterblue ascended the throne. Her days consist of meetings, mounds of paperwork, and attending to the mundane inner-workings of her rule. She is 18 now, living a lonely existence surrounded only by advisers and servants, having essentially been locked away in an ivory tower. Becoming frustrated at her isolation, she begins to disguise herself at night and sneak out into the streets of the city. She has been assured that her kingdom is well-run and that her people are educated and happy, but life outside the castle is very different from what she has been led to believe. She has been lied to about many things. Vast parts of the city are in disrepair, the majority of the people are illiterate, and those who wish to tell the truth about events that occurred during Leck's reign are being attacked and killed. She realizes that her kingdom is broken, still reeling eight years later from the effects of Leck and his sadism. Can she be the queen her people need her to be, when she fears that she may be broken, too?

    This book is so rich in its storytelling. Bitterblue is just as smart and fierce as we saw her in Graceling, but she is also sad and lonely and confused. The closer she gets to the truth, the more lengths certain people will go to hide it. Little by little she finds the pieces of the puzzle and begins to construct the true picture of Leck's legacy, but we are never entirely sure whom of those around her can be trusted. The truths that Bitterblue uncovers are heartbreaking and terrible, but she must persevere in order for her kingdom to move forward and heal.

    We see quite a bit of Po, and some of Katsa as well as a few other characters from the first book (Giddon, Bann, Raffin, Skye), and it's interesting to see how very little they've changed over the years. I thought one or two of them might be married by now, might have families, etc, but no. They are heavily involved in the Council, which has become much more powerful throughout the seven kingdoms.

    The beginning was great, I was hooked immediately; the ending is satisfying, all the loose ends are tied up. My one quibble with the book is the bloated middle. It could have been trimmed down and the story would have flowed better, in my opinion. There are too many subplots involving too many minor characters and after a while it became tedious. Enough bits of the main story kept bobbing up to keep my interest, but I think it should have been more concise. Overall, though, I loved it. I hope Cashore keeps writing about strong female characters. It's so refreshing.

    37 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a teen and I really enjoyed Graceling. can't wait to read m

    I am a teen and I really enjoyed Graceling. can't wait to read more

    21 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Pretty good

    Bitterblue kept me engaged. It's long, but its really good. I would recommend it for 14 and over because it hints at adult content.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Incredible

    Graceling and Fire were good, but Bitterblue just blew me away! Finished the book in one day, great story plot, youre mind will be rattling at all the secrets you will find out. Mysterious and entertaining. Definitely on my list of best books i have ever read. If you like The Hunger Games, you will love and adore these three books!! MUST READ

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Amazing

    This was a great book. It tied up all the loose ends from the former book and how they all related to eachother. This book takes place approximately eight years after Leck's death.

    Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea and struggling to heal her broken kingdom from her tyrannical father, Leck. As she tries to figure out all the mysteries her father left in his tracks, she comes across romance, betrayal and horrible, as well as suprising discoveries.

    Death is around every corner and reveals itself to the least likely characters at the least likely moments. Mystery and romance play together in an intwined tale as Bitterblue uncovers everything from her past.

    New characters are introduced in this story and at times, things are a bit confusing. The book can be redundant and boring at times, and quick-paced at others, but overall this was a fantastic book. I suggest rereading (if you have not already) the first two books before starting on this because I got confused at the many mentions of former characters and places. You should really consider buying this book, for it was extremely interesting in all aspects and was totally worth the money.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    If you are wondering if it's ok to read Bitterblue and go back a

    If you are wondering if it's ok to read Bitterblue and go back and read Graceling... Well if you dont like Spoilers I would read Graceling first.

    I finished the book last night. There are so many things I liked about this book and things I did not. I can say though that I enjoyed Graceling and Fire much more than I did Bitterblue the book. I was not much attached to Bitterblue (in the book Bitterblue) as I was Katsa and Fire which is weird considering I loved Bitterblue in Graceling. I don't want to give any spoilers. If you get to Part 3 (Part 1 & 2 are slow) I will say that it's worth finishing and having your own opinion about (there are 5 parts total). I did enjoy reading about Katsa and Po as they are in the book (the author already stated this months ago on her website) another character I liked was Hava. I found Thiel to be very frustrating.

    Another thing, I wished I had known there was a map in the back of the book I could refer to of Bitterblue's castle while reading the book. I didn't find it until the end. So you do have that to refer to if you want.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    CANT WAIT!

    I love these books! Fire and Gracling are two of my favorite books and im super excited to read this one too:))

    7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Heartbreaking

    I loved Graceling and Fire, they were beautiful and well written books with entire worlds between the covers. I have been waiting for this book to come out, and by the time i finished it, i admittedly cried several times. It is a wonderful book that imbues all the emotions of real life into every character and situation, and a brilliant meeting point for the main characters of all three books.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Awesome

    This is yet another great book by kristin cashore. Definitely recomend it to everyone.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2011

    Awesome

    Better than the first two!

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    This book is disappointing. Started out great then gets horribl

    This book is disappointing. Started out great then gets horribly bogged down in castle politics that never ends. Very disjointed unsatisfying read.

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It just didn't feel complete to me¿ WARNING: Spoilers Galore! 

    It just didn't feel complete to me…

    WARNING: Spoilers Galore! 

    *

    *

    *

    I feel like this book was *Almost* great. I’ve come to expect so much of Cashore’s characters. The way she develops her girls and brings them to womanhood has in the past been close to masterful. Even if I haven’t particularly loved a character *cough* Katsa *cough* I’ve very much respected their journey as a person. And I’ve enjoyed studying Cashore’s purpose in female driven writing. I haven’t been so drawn to watching an author develop a female theme across multiple books since my thesis on Virginia Woolf. And those were some fun times, let me tell you.

    So, don’t be disappointed when I say that one of my biggest issues was the romance.

    I know!

    That whole first paragraph was devoted to Women’s Studies and I gotta harp on the romance portion of the novel.

    But, the love triangle was just a big tease! I felt as though there was a lot of focus on Saf and Bitterblue’s relationship. Was Saf good? Bad? Bitterblue’s failing point? or saving grace? And it’s not as though I expect romance to be more important than the development of the female lead as a strong female. However, based on the previous two books in the series I was expecting the romance to play a defining role in Bitterblue’s development as a woman. At the very least a conclusion to the relationship would have shown if  Saf was just her first sexual partner and first love? Or did he come back and prove to be the man who would grow up and stand tall beside Bitterblue as a grown woman. While I admit, I think Bitterblue (yes, Bitterblue is a living, breathing person to me. Don’t judge, Cashore is really that good with her characters.) wanted Saf to be “The One”…I didn’t. I would have found it hard to see Cashore reconcile the person Bitterblue had to become with the person she would have needed to be to end up with Saf. Maybe this is the reason for the open ending? Cashore’s character’s desires separated from the point of the plot?

    And now I need to move on to my heartbreak…Gideon. Was Gideon never a choice? Almost a choice? Her eventual husband? If I had to guess due to plot and theme trajectory Gideon had to be Bitterblue’s future mate. I have reasons:

    1. He lost all his lands, thus freeing him up to be a citizen of Monsea.
    2. He was the man Bitterblue turned to for the truth. The only one she trusted to be honest and to accept her honesty.
    3. Katsa spurned him in Graceling. Cashore couldn’t spurn the man twice in one series right?!
    4. Bitterblue was always feeling ‘warm’ or ‘enjoying’ things naturally with Gideon – there were definite foreshadowing elements of a deepening attraction!
    5. That first scene, where she falls asleep on him as he takes the pins out of her hair. Swoon. Shows instinctive trust. I like that part best.

    Maybe I was too reliant on the model of the previous two books – but I really expected more resolution in the romance category. Not finding that resolution really hurt my satisfaction with the ending of the book.

    And finally, moving on to the rest of the novel…What was simultaneously amazing and frustrating about this novel was that the whole book felt like a stumble in the dark.

    At first I was confused, then annoyed, then I realized it mirrored the feelings of the citizens themselves (point? or happy accident?) The read was a heavy one. The situation Leck left his kingdom in was impossibly scarred. And Cashore is unflinching while dealing with the issues. No Graceling will appear on a white horse to save the day with a truth sensing ability. Beautifully it’s two normally gifted humans (Gideon and Bitterblue) who begin to model a relationship where they promise not to lie. Truly the best these people can do to put their lives back together – Perfection (and I think the final piece of growing up Bitterblue needed to do) would have been to choose Gideon as her mate. The lack of romantic choice left the story (saga really) feeling unfinished to me…Maybe Cashore is planning a 4th installment? Hara will flesh out in her role as Bitterblue’s sister.  Gideon will finally land a girl. And [maybe] a baby for Katsa and Po? Hmm…that last one was probably asking for too much right? lol.

    Bitterblue is yet a softer character than even Fire and – especially – Katsa were. Bitterblue is the first female character Cashore has developed who was not dealing/blessed with a power. Instead she is only fighting the memory of one. Perhaps the hardest trick of all. Of all Cashore’s women Bitterblue is the most bare – the most defenseless. So utterly reliant on friends and fmaily. Truly a child (sheltered) for so much of the book. I missed seeing her exert more power on her own. To completel the transformation to Queen. Her power is her compassion. Her ability to consume and heal the grief of her people. If only the reader had more time to see the fruits and less time with the labor.

    Rating: 3.5/5 It just didn't feel complete to me…

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    I was utterly dissappointed by this book, I absolutely loved Fir

    I was utterly dissappointed by this book, I absolutely loved Fire and
    Graceling but this book was dreadful. The romance in the book was not
    carried out properly and never fully developed. And while most of the
    book lacked excitement and was hard to read the ending was the same
    way!!! There were so many unresolved problems at the end that I thought
    there had to be an epilouge but there wasn't! I am literally hurt that
    this is the way Cashore ended Gracling and Fire, it's tragic!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Worth the wait, Cashore does not disapoint

    Ms. Cashore is a talented and amazing writer. This was my favorite book of the series so far. The story was so interesting with all the puzzles, ciphers, mazes, and mysteries. I love how she tied all the previous books and characters into this story. One of the best YA books i have read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    I really really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't.

    I really really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't. So many of the parts in the story just seemed to drag on and it lost my attention many times. There definitely was not enough of Saf and Bitterblue and it jet seemed like Cashore was trying to get their relationship out of the way. There was a LOT of politics in the story and that just bored me. But on the other hand, Bitterblue had a lost of confused emotions and that made her a very interesting and complex character. The whole mystery aspect in the story was really confusing and I had no idea what was happening in many parts that should have filled the gaps.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Loved this book!

    Loved this book!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Ggg

    I did not like this book as much as the first two, it was slow at some parts and did not have enough of Bitterblue and Saf, but i have to say i still did not want the book to end. So ya, i still loved this book and i hope Kristen makes more.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Let me start out by saying the Cashore is a very very good story

    Let me start out by saying the Cashore is a very very good story teller. I like Graceling, I loved Fire and I went back to like for Bitterblue.
    *******SPOLIERS! DONT READ IF YOU DONT WANT TO KNOW SOME THINGS IN BOOK***********
    Here is why:
    PROS: 1) Great story into understanding Leak (preaty sick dude) 2) Good plot and twists 3) Loved to see most main characters from the other two books in this one. 4) Loved the new characters like Death and Hava. 5) I liked that the two different lands found eachother.
    CONS: 1) The little (and I mean like 7 % of the book) love plot was so unstatisfing. I thought that Graceline was unsatisfiying but this is WAY worse. 2) At times she acted her age and at other she dident. It was quite spratic. I like when my young characters grow throughout the book but she doesnt seem to. . .at least to me. 3) I dont like the relashionship her and Giddon have. . .its almost like they like like eachother but then not. Its kinda creapy. 4) Wish their was more interaction with Teddy, Saf and the Girls

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Love it!!!!!!!!

    I read the other books and I so want to read this!!!!!!!!:p

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Not Enjoyable

    I bought this book because I loved the book Graceling and couldn't bear to end the series. I also love a long read. But this book portrayed many qualities I did not enjoy.

    1. Parts of the book didn't lead up to anything in the story and were overall useless to the book.

    2. The book's questions from the beginning never built up answers, but really just ended them suddenly leaving the reader confused.

    3. The romance was awful. Saf was ruthless and un-intelligiant and made horrible decisions when he was angry and wouldn't make a good king.

    4. The story was filled with politics not needed.

    5. Saying balls when she is frustrated. Isn't she like 18?

    6. I felt like Lady Fire had nothing to do with the story but they added her anyway.

    7. Characters dieing before we could connect.

    8. Katsa wasn't like she was in Graceling

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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