Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial
Publication date: May 2012
Pages: 576
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: Graceling, Book 3

Bitterblue has inherited a broken kingdom, a kingdom that has been under her father's sway for years. She's been convinced that the best way to deal with the past is to forget it, but she's not sure that is working for her people. In order to try and find out more about what's going on in her kingdom, she begins to sneak out and meet with regular citizens.  What she seeks and what she finds might end up overwhelming her.

Things I Liked:
I've got to hand it to Cashore for creating a complicated, difficult, detailed book filled with depth and nuance.  Nothing is easy, there are no simple answers, no neat ending, and everything is questioned.  This is a deeply complex fantasy world with the cultures and history and geography to back it up - it totally reminds me of the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.  I love how the characters are so complete with so much depth and realistic weaknesses.  Also, she has some fabulous parts filled with crazy action and exciting and disturbing things going on.  She has so much skill in creating complex, real, and believable fantasy worlds.  I can't wait to see what she writes next.

Things I Didn't Like:
Really, though, I was bored through about 2/3 of the book.  I got really tired of the confusing half-answers, non-committal replies, and Bitterblue's inability to do anything.  There were huge amounts of the book where nothing happened and I really thought it was in need of serious editing.  Also, I easily saw a number of things I wish Bitterblue had figured out much earlier (though some things obviously I didn't, which was nice).  Glad I read it, wish it was shorter and tighter.  And I still am really impressed with her skill as a writer.

Start with Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore
Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

s-factor: !
a very small handful

mrg-factor: X 
mostly implied, one scene

v-factor: ->
mostly just disturbing details from Leck's past

Overall rating: ****

What were your thoughts on this one?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I so need to catch up on this series... and a million others!

    1. That's why you and I should switch off which series we catch up on - and then read the others' reviews :)

  2. I keep hearing the same things about this one. That's why I keep putting it off. I don't want a book that will bore me to tears right now.

    1. Yeah, hold off until you can handle something a leetle less action-packed.

  3. I'm just sad that I finished the book. I want to go back and read it over again for the first time. LOVE.

    Micky Johnson (Houston Local SEO)


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