Customer Reviews for

Bitterblue

Average Rating 4.5
( 336 )
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(220)

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(31)

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(15)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

36 out of 44 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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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    Loved Graceling and Fire.  This book was exciting in its own way

    Loved Graceling and Fire.  This book was exciting in its own way.  Hope that Kristinn Cashore decides to write another.

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  • Posted December 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm glad I waited to read this. It turns out reading a few rev

    I'm glad I waited to read this. It turns out reading a few reviews before I read it helped me understand what kind of book this might be. I think I would have be really disappointed in it without that knowledge. Bitterblue is different in many ways for the other two books in the series.

    I think what might stand out about this novel is that Bitterblue is not graced. She doesn't have the extraordinary abilities of Katsa or Fire. That doesn't mean she's less of a person in anyway, she's just like everybody else. What makes her story stand out is she's trying to run a kingdom that was brutally manipulated in ways most people can't even image. She wants people to heal but move forward at the same time. She also wants to fully understand what her father did to everyone around her. She remembers bits of what he did to her, her mother, and to a few of her advisers. But, she can only imagine the scars left on the rest of the kingdom.

    But, despite all her best efforts, she often feels like her advisers are trying to brush it all under the rug. She constantly doing paperwork without really interacting with the people in her kingdom. The more questions she asks, the more they evade her. It worries her when she begins to learn the truth. Her kingdom is illiterate, buildings are falling down, and those trying to uncover the truth of Leck's reign are being murdered. With the help of two thiefs she befriends and a very dedicated librarian, Bitterblue begins to uncover what Leck was really trying to accomplish. And it opens up a whole new world to the people of Monsea.

    I admired Bitterblue's courage throughout this entire journey. When she discovers her mother had been embroidering cryptic messages in all the bedding, she never falters She keeps reading. Then the librarian turns up journals written in Leck's hand. There's one for each year of his reign, but the language matches none that are known. It's a mystery we already know the answer to, but it's fascinating to watch them unravel it.

    It was a slow and meticulous book. It wasn't at all what I originally though it was going to be, but I was okay with that. It ties up all the loose ends beautifully and I loved how in the end the story seemed peaceful.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Sab

    " You candy adicts " she munched on some waffles with surp on it

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    I am very conflicted with this book. On the one hand, it was eve

    I am very conflicted with this book. On the one hand, it was everything I wanted it to be. I was sucked into the story and and once again enchanted by this world. But in some parts, I was expecting more.
    Bitterblue has come a long way since Graceling. She has been through so much and even after several years is still having a hard time adjusting to everything. And to make worse for her, there are several events in Bitterblue that test Bitterblue and try to push her over the edge. But after everything, and with the help of a few of our favorite friends, she ultimately finds the strength in herself. And she just finds herself in general. I liked Bitterblue because her strength was mostly found in her intellect.
    We definitely see a different side of this world in Bitterblue. It is primarily focuses on the kingdom of Monsea. I did like that we got to see a different side.
    This was a completely different journey than in the first two. While the first two were more physical journeys, the one in Bitterblue is more of a conquest of the mind. There are still some heartbreaking moments in this book, maybe more so than before. This was still a very intriguing and addicting ride. One that I just couldn't get enough of.
    Now, my biggest issue with the book is the ending. It was just one of those that left a lot open. I'm one of those people who need more conclusion to my series. Because of that, every time I think of this book I just feel this...sadness.
    So, overall, Bitterblue was everything I hoped it would be on paper. But I just wanted more out of the ending, especially of this amazing series. But I'm sure most people won't feel that way.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Much better than the first two, the set up though of the first t

    Much better than the first two, the set up though of the first two books made this an amazing book. I enjoyed the story line, the characters and their abilities.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Wonderful, but inappropriate

    I read this book immediately after reading Graceling. Overall it was a great book, a good plot and background. The biggest flaw I saw was all the unnecessary language. There were words in the book that I would not say around any child of any age. Also, there was one part that was really unnecessary, but i should have seen it coming, after reading Katsa and Po's story.
    I would highly advise against reading this story until you are at least 14, 13 at the very youngest. Other than the one part and the repeated language, it was a very wonderful, awesome book and i applaud Kristin Cashore.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Great Coming of Age Story

    Bitterblue is a queen trying to salvage her kingdom after her father's terrible reign. She learns secrets of her father's reign and makes some friends who can give her sound advice. A great story!

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Riveting storytelling start to finish. Enthralled all the way.

    Riveting storytelling start to finish. Enthralled all the way. Worthy successor to Graceling. This is very much Bitterblue's tale and not dependent on reappearance (as delighted as I was to have them back) of favorite characters like Po and Katsa.

    So why not 5 stars? Well, lots of puzzles with hundreds and hundreds of pages invested in with zero progression. (575+ pages total) Rather blech on the ending -- not one of the horrid cliffhangers to sell next book and I am not a reader having to have the super happy ending with all questions answered -- which just did not resolve enough and was dissatisfying after such a l-o-n-g road getting there.

    Still one of my favorite series and will read anything forthcoming from author.

    <i>Average rating for this book is utterly useless. I don't think I've run across another book that has more star ratings from people who have not actually read. So many early reviews/ratings were done before book was even written as fans were eagerly anticipating. From people who rated after reading, I do understand why ratings are all over the place. Had a hard time deciding on how many &quot;stars&quot; myelf.</i>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Just a warning

    If you are a persoon who's easily disturbed, just know this going into the book. While there's lots of positive messages, King Leck forced people to cut up animals and little girls, which a lot of people might find kind of, well, disturbing. There's also some suicide in this book so just know that now. Otherwise this is a great book and I'd recommend it to ayone who I know can handle the things mentioned.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I really enjoyed it but this is a tough one, filled with a lot o

    I really enjoyed it but this is a tough one, filled with a lot of hardship. Love definitely takes the back burner in it so go in prepared for that. That said, the rich storytelling and world building was a great addition to the series.

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