Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm
I’m sure there will be people who read Bitterblue who find it too long, too complex, and with too little romance. I am not one of those people. Bitterblue was a fantastic way to wrap up this series. It was the culmination of everything that had happened in the pervious novels.
Bitterblue, the little princess of the first novel, has grown up and must face the world her father created. The people of her country are confused and unsure of how to move forward. King Leck, Bitterblue’s father, was a tyrant who stopped at nothing to make the world the way he wanted it. Unimaginable things happened, but because of Leck’s grace, his entire rein comes with a cloud of fog that people are still working through. Bitterblue is trying to move her people forward to a place of piece and trust, but there are people fighting against her at every turn.
I liked the queenly side of Bitterblue, but I also found her secretive side wonderful as well. She starts sneaking out of the castle, wanting to know more about the city that bears her name. She finds that things are not as her advisors tell her and that people are unhappy. There’s a group of people wanting to find the truth of King Leck’s rein and people are working hard to keep those years unknown. Posing as a baker of the castle, she finds a group of friends that shows her the truth. When she starts to fall for one of her new friends, things begin to get messy.
There are a couple stories being told within this novel. There’s the story of Bitterblue trying to be the queen her people need. She’s coming of age and finding love for the first time. There’s a disturbing mystery surrounding her father’s rein. All of this could easily make its own novel, but Cashore was able to weave the stories together amazingly. It never feels like it’s too much going on. Just when a break from the evils of King Leck is needed, Cashore picks up the romantic storyline. Before the romantic storyline gets too emotional, Bitterblue must deal with a queenly problem. There’s a wonderful balance between everything that must happen.
I know the end won’t be for everyone. Without giving anything away, I’ll say the ending fit. Would it have been nice if everything had ended perfectly, wrapped in a perfect red bow? Of course, but then it wouldn’t have been real. There’s still happiness and peace, with the closure the characters need.
Bitterblue is an amazing novel that wraps the Graceling series up the way it needed to be. It ties everything together and gives hope for the future of the world Cashore created. Everything is not perfect, but it’s moving towards being the best world it could be. Bitterblue makes this series a must read. It’s fantastic and beautifully written with characters that will pull at your heart.