Monday, April 15, 2013
Bitterblue - Book Review
Book: Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
Author: Kristin Cashore, Ian Schoenherr
Genre: Teen, Young Adult
Publisher/Publish Date: Dial / May 2012
Source: SF Public Library
GoodReads • Amazon
Set in a fantastical world where some people are born with special skills, known as a Grace, some people use this skills for good, others for evil. Bitterblue, the third book in the Graceling Realm series, takes place eight years after the first book. Eight years after the terrible reign of her dad ended, and she became queen of Mosea. While the kingdom is still recovering from the influence of her father, Leck, Bitterblue is trying to sort out how he terrorized the citizens and find a way to bring healing.
Leck was a violent psychopath, and his grace was an ability to make people believe and do what he wanted them to. Bitterblue was left with advisors who had worked for her father, and were focused on a forward-thinking plan, ignoring the past. Her curiosity leads her to sneak out the castle in disguise, to explore the streets of her city, and discover the true story of what her father did and the impact it still has on her kingdom.
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series (the second is a companion book with different characters), and was looking forward to reading this one for awhile. Although it's set in a mythological realm, I like how believable the characters are, making the plot more true to life then a lot of YA books. While there is romance, it's complicated, and doesn't wrap up cleanly in the end. There is mystery, surprises, but it's never over the top. Not to give too much away, but things turn out really great in the end, and I hope Cashore writes many more books about these kingdoms.
Included at the end of the book, an almost too easy to miss, are breathtaking illustrations of the three bridges that are central to the novel, as well as a map of the seven kingdoms. [Purple illustration above is from the inside cover.]