The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns Series #3)

The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns Series #3)

by Rae Carson


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The New York Times‒best-selling series!

"Carson joins the ranks of writers like Kristin Cashore, Megan Whalen Turner, and Tamora Pierce as one of YA's best writers of high fantasy."—Locus

In the deeply satisfying conclusion to the bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen Elisa travels into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion—a champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062026569
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Series: Girl of Fire and Thorns Series , #3
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 70,634
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rae Carson is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Her books tend to contain adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, Rae Carson now lives in Arizona with her husband.

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The Bitter Kingdom 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
I read both The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers earlier this year and I would have done pretty much ANYTHING to get my hands on a copy of The Bitter Kingdom. I was desperate to find out how Carson would wrap the series up and whether or not Elisa would fulfill her destiny as the bearer of the Godstone. The Bitter Kingdom picks up right where The Crown of Embers left off, and we are instantly thrust back into Elisa's world. This time, however, we do get a few chapters in Hector's POV! I think this was such an awesome addition (and not because I am a Hector fangirl) but because I think it's important that Carson details his captivity for us readers. Hector is such an important character to Elisa and I loved watching them cope with being apart and be able to jump right into his thoughts and see how he was faring while she was on her way to rescue him. When we first meet Elisa in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she wasn't a very likeable protagonist. She lacked confidence in herself, felt inferior to her older sister, and felt the need to gorge on food to make herself feel better. However, after being married off and kidnapped, Elisa slowly starts to transform. After returning to the palace, Elisa is far from the same girl who was kidnapped. She has faced hardships she never dreamed of. She had to learn to survive on her own and not depend on someone else to take care of her. In The Crown of Embers, Elisa is still transforming into the woman she's meant to be. She now has a kingdom to run and has to face betrayal at every turn, not knowing who she can truly trust. She also sets out on quest to discover the true nature of the Godstone she carries. I love how unyielding Elisa becomes in The Bitter Kingdom. She vows to rescue Hector and makes decisions for the good of her kingdom and her people. Yet, she also manages to secure her happiness as well- which let's face it- she deserves! What I absolutely loved the most about Elisa was the fact that she learned to feel beautiful in her own skin. It doesn't matter what anyone else but her thinks and I think that really shows maturity on her part. Sure, Hector finds her beautiful, but what's important is that she finds herself beautiful. I also really enjoyed the friendships in this book. Elisa has such loyal friends who would do anything to assist her. They offer her counsel, but do not try to usurp her authority or try to take over. They are bound by their loyalty to one another and I was on the edge of my seat because I wanted everyone to survive and make it through. We do have a new addition in this book, a half-Invierno girl who Elisa and Mara rescue from an outlying village. She names herself Red Sparkle Stone and she really has personality. She is around the same age as the young Prince Rosario and her courage and bravery were really inspiring. She wanted to do whatever she could to help, no matter the danger. Once Hector has been rescued, Elisa makes the decision to go to the Invierne capital to see what she can discover there. Walking directly into enemy territory is no simple feat. But I've got to say, Storm really does shine in this book. Up until now, we always questioned his loyalty and there were certainly times in this novel where we wondered where his true allegiance lay. Storm has been shunned by his family, so he is not exactly welcome in the capital. However, Elisa realizes their best chance at peace is to come to some kind of a compromise with the Inviernos. Watching how she does this is absolutely brilliant. She eventually finds herself back in Basajuan where she meets with both Queens Cosmé and Alodia to discuss the fate of their country and their status with Invierne. Again, we see Elisa stand up and do what she must in order to obtain peace and I think her sister is quite surprised (and pleased) at the woman Elisa has become. Let's talk romance for a minute. Holy Hector and Elisa! I absolutely think they are the ultimate power couple. They complement each other so well and both would sacrifice themselves for one another. Elisa trusts Hector's judgment implicitly and she knows he would never withhold the truth from her or be afraid to question her decisions. She is certainly a little nervous about how Hector will handle the news that they are betrothed, and at first I really want to smack some sense into him! Crazy man. He got his act together though and I love their scenes together. Carson shows how a simple touch between these two means so much and how much they admire and respect one another. And I really appreciate that she doesn't glaze over the intimacy between Hector and Elisa- she handles it appropriately for the age group of readers and I'm happy she stayed true to herself and her characters and the choices they made. Overall, I think Carson did an excellent job of wrapping up such an epic trilogy and I loved watching Elisa evolve such a strong, self-assured woman. *Received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent Ending to a great Series! Thank you Rae Carson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first one hundred and fifty pages could have been reduced to one chapter. There is a lack of depth to Amelia's character that prevents you from relating to her. The last hundred pages read like they were written by a different author! You actually begin to like these two and to be drawn in by their story. This story would be better suited as a novella due to the lack of substance in the first half+ of the book. I'm not sure if I want to continue reading this author. Maybe I will try one more book, only because this book ended well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was please with it. It answered all my questions. Then, when i thought it could not get any better, some of it was in hector's pov!!!! I felt all the female charater were amazing. This is a great book for ya!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
got everything I wanted all my questions answered and everyone got their happy ending definitely pleased with the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful ending to a brilliant YA trilogy. As a former high school English teacher, I highly recommend this trilogy. By far it is one of the best currently in print.
julie45 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have now read all three books in this series plus a couple prequels while I was waiting for this book to come out. Very good series for all ages. Romance without smut, action without desriptive gore, and interesting science fiction. Thank you for this great series!
Krissybear More than 1 year ago
This series is...beyond excellent. Rae Carson's writing it fantastic and keeps you engrossed in the story every page. Little bit of humor and daring journeys makes this novel amazing. I love the fact that it is written very maturely and not like a teen age girl wrote it. This book series is great for adults and teens. But the best part of this series is how the main girl (Elisa) is an amazing leader, fearless and not a true friend to people. She's not your typical "oh I need a man to help me" like most teen romance books. The other best part is the love between Hector and Elisa, although it is a book, you can feel their love for each other. It's amazing. Everyone needs to read this series, it will change you!
Bonnie_W More than 1 year ago
From desert to snow, Rae Carson has delivered an epic fantasy series that encompasses dangerous terrain and is fully satisfying, gripping, and thrilling. Appropriately named THE BITTER KINGDOM on many levels, picking up the final novel for the first time left a bitter taste in my mouth. This book broke my heart--in all the best ways. Over the course of the series, Rae Carson has gotten better and better. Each book exceeds the last. Even her e-novellas have depth and merit, well worth your $2.99. Carson has become one of my favorite high fantasy authors, and I'm already anticipating a new series by her. I'm devastated that the series has ended; it's like I've lost a cherished best friend. The series ends on a high note, and if you haven't yet made the leap, I envy you. Seriously, I envy you. You get to read these amazing books for the first time. One of my friends is reading the first book now on my suggestion, and it makes me so envious. I seriously want to cry every time I think about the fact that I'm finished this series. I feel so barren without it in my life! Thank goodness for the ability to re-read! ****There are spoilers from the end of THE CROWN OF EMBERS in this summary, so if you haven't read it yet, please check out this review instead or of the first book, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.**** Elisa has come so far and changed  a great deal over the course of the series. She's gone from being a whiny princess who sits around and eats non-stop without a care in the world to a young queen willing to risk everything in order to protect her loved ones and an entire kingdom. With the way THE CROWN OF EMBERS ended, I thought THE BITTER KINGDOM would revolve around the rescue of Hector, and while it begins that way, it's not the true purpose of the novel. Characters continue to work together and aid one another in ways that make me admire Carson even more, and the plot is richer and fuller than I imagined it could be. Everything comes full circle, and while new questions are raised in unexpected ways (I would love a companion series centuries in the future that pick up on the fruition of Elisa's Purpose), nothing is left hanging. The resolutions are satisfying and make me both happy and sad--happy because the book is just so good, and sad because...this journey is over. I still can't quite comprehend that; I'm pretty sure I'm in withdrawal. I already need to re-read this series and have been sitting on the final novella! I don't want to give anything about the plot away, but it amazes me to see the way Carson opens up new characters. We explore villains and their motivations. We learn a bit about their culture. We have gone from steaming hot deserts to frigid, snow-capped mountains. The journey is more sparse this time around; you can tell in the lack of food description alone! Elisa and company have endured so much over the course of the series, and will suffer through even more before encountering destiny. Carson is incredibly gifted at writing. Small decisions become monumental and make you stop and savor/reflect, only to be followed by moments of humor to make the emotions dissipate. She is queen at playing with reader emotions. Elisa is such a strong female role model, and it's great to see a girl kicking butt and saving the guy for once--especially when he's okay with that! So refreshing. And I adore Hector. He has to be a favorite of mine. When I re-read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS before reading THE CROWN OF EMBERS for the first time, I saw a hint of something, but I wasn't sure until later in TCOE...much as I was rooting for it to be the case. After everything Elisa has endured, she deserves happiness and true love, and Hector is just right for her. I've even fallen in love with secondary characters from the series, however, and it's like they've all become close friends. You understand what makes them tick and what they care about. This deepens upon reading the e-novellas, though they're not necessary to the main plot. I can't say it enough: Carson is superb at character development. There's a lot of gushing in this review, and little summary, since there are so many spoilers by now. I apologize. I love this series so much, though, and if you haven't read it or finished (Hey, I wasn't in True Love on my first go-round, either! Just in Serious Like) yet, you owe it to yourself to give the Fire and Thorns Trilogy a genuine chance...especially since you have a chance to win the whole series below!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson Book Three of the Fire and Thorns series Publisher: Greenwillow Books Publication Date: August 27, 2013 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy. What I Liked: SPOILER FREE REVIEW! I think. Well, read at your own risk. Definitely spoilers for Book One and Book Two. But I think I did a good job of keeping spoilers out of this review for Book Three. Ahhhh, I loved this book so much! I can't believe this series is over! I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns two years ago, and I didn't absolutely love it. It was good, but I wasn't a huge fan, and I didn't really remember much of the book. Two years later, I attempted to read The Crown of Embers, and loved it! I read it because I knew I'd have to read this one - this one being a requested eARC. Well, despite the fact that I didn't completely love the first book, didn't really remember it, but then really liked the second book, I was completely blown away by this conclusion! The second book ended in a cliffhanger, and I know a lot of people who read it but haven't had the chance to read The Bitter Kingdom were in agony. I was lucky in that right after I read book two, I jumped into book three. So, the cliffhanger didn't seem so bad. Carson splits this book up into several sections. First, Elisa is on a mission to get Hector back. Then, she needs to go to the land of Inviernos to settle things. Then, she needs to go back to Cosme's land, to meet with Cosme and Alodia (the meeting of the queens that was mentioned at the end of book two). With Elisa is Mara, her loyal handmaid, Belen, her loyal friend and guard (since Hector was captured), Storm, an Invierno-turned-loyal-subject, and a new addition - a small child named Mula. She's about Prince Rosario's age, give or take. While chasing Hector's captors, Elisa and her companions stay at an inn, where they see this young mixed-breed girl being treated badly. Elisa frees her of the inn, and Mula joins them in the search for Hector. I feel like this isn't a spoiler, but they eventually find and rescue Hector. Actually, he was doing a pretty good job of rescuing himself. But anyway, that was nice. One of my favorite scenes is when Elisa tells him she has engaged the two of them to be married. Poor Hector! So Hector comes with them to the Invierno capital. Things happen. Storm and his sister Waterfall get them an audience with their father (I believe it's their father). Things happen. Then Waterfall joins the group in heading back to meet Cosme. More things happen. Then, the final battle. I loved the plot of this book. Not once was I bored, or about to throw my Kindle at the wall. And Carson has a way of throwing things into the plot that you don't see coming, but that are totally necessary to the story. I like what she did with Elisa and the oasis - that was unexpected. The romance is so sweet. I am convinced that Hector is the best male heroine in Young Adult literature that I have encountered. When I say "best", I mean he is honorable, loyal, courageous, selfless, committed... I could go on. He is so sweet and powerful and protective and amazing. Margot from Epic Reads and I started a meme on Twitter - #GoodGuyHector. He's an all-around good guy! He's definitely one of my favorite heroes. Did I mention that Hector's point-of-view is occasionally thrown around in this book? YES! It's not just Elisa! We get Hector's view on things every few scenes! It's awesome!  I think this book - and series - ended extremely well! You know that sad feeling you get when a series is over? I experienced no such thing. Carson ended this series so perfectly, and I loved it. I was so happy when this book ended - especially the way it did. What I Did Not Like: This is going to sound ridiculous, but I've had this problem since the beginning of the series. Usually, I'm really good with remembering names of people, places, things, etc., in fantasy novels and books in general. But I seriously could NOT keep up with the amount of names for all the places in this book. And some of the people's names slipped through the cracks as well. There are so many terms and people and places that aren't in English that I had a hard time remembering. For the life of me, I have no idea what any of the places are called - except Brisadulce, and Joya something. I feel like this can't just be me. I had this problem in book one, book two, and book three. Usually, I do an excellent job of categorizing and remembering all of the weird terms and names. In this book (and series)? Not so much. Would I Recommend It: Yesssss! This is an awesome high fantasy series that I started out sort of shaky but ended up completely loving. The romance is amazing, but the politics and other plots of this story is what made it truly unique. Rating: 4 stars. I hope any and/or all of you reading this review will check out this series! I'm so glad I stuck with it.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite YA trilogies. With a strong female character that was relatable and a romance that had me swooning, I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For all who hate this book, just be aware that as you say that none of this would happen, this book is fiction. The events dont really happen for that matter. If you don't like the books why did you read the whole series-- regardless I reccomend thes books to anyone looking for a story to keep them up until 4:00 am!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 51 years old. That being said..Very easy read. Romance yes but no explicit sex. It kept me engaged. Good characters happy endings. Great trilogy.
E-Willy More than 1 year ago
A worthy conclusion to the trilogy, as Elisa makes her last stand against the enemy and the final secrets are revealed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good conclusion just like I known it would be. The other two books in the series who too great for this one to be anything less..
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
he Bitter Kingdom is the final installment in this epic fantasy series. Elisa, Queen and Chosen by God, finally fulfills her duty. Fighting her own people and others in far off lands she tries to bring peace and unity to all of the kingdoms. I have enjoyed the religious aspects of this series, but will admit to a little frustration with Elisa’s having to sacrifice everything for her people. I know, as queen, she must live up to her kingdoms standards, but as queen, shouldn’t she also get to make some of her own decisions regardless of how it affects others? If not, then what’s the joy in being queen? Her relationship and love for Hector was the biggest frustration, only allaying it when she is able to choose him for political reasons. The only reason why that didn’t anger me more is that we saw her inner pain and fear when he was taken captive and she and her small group travel to rescue him. The rest of the story was pretty satisfying! She explores her own humanity, and it is that which saves herself, her friends and her people. Elisa has come a long way from the overweight, frightened girl we first read about in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. With her experiences and self discoveries she sees her duty, outsmarts the other kingdoms, realizes her potential as ruler and moves from girlhood to being a woman, ultimately finding love. I just wish that her journey had happened a little quicker.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this adventure! I could not put it down. The character development is so detailed and cunning. I really enjoyed the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is great! Im 32 and i loved it. It is written sobwonderfully i felt like i was there. I say this is a series you HAVE to read!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this whole series from begining to end. I loved how Storm AND Elisa both get to use their Godstones. I LOVE this book and series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't stop reading I could never put down my nook