Short Review: "Bitterblue" by Kristin Cashore

Title: Bitterblue [Graceling Realm #3]
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publication:  2012
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT+, Romance, YA
Link: goodreads
Stars: 3/ 5

Review to Graceling [Graceling Realm #1] can be found here.
Review to Fire [Graceling Realm #2] can be found here.

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . .

My Thoughts
What an end for this series, well what a “series“ itself.
I was really looking forward to read this book after the disappointing second book in the series. However, after the first ten chapters, I realized that “Bitterblue“ won’t  be as enjoyable as I thought.

It was nice to have the old characters, like Katsa, Bo, Raffin, Giddon and Bitterblue back and it was even nicer to meet new characters like Saf, Teddy, Todd and Hava. But, unfortunately the book is full of annoying  characters, that slow down the development of the storyline.#
It's also hard to follow the main storyline because the main goal changes so often, from becoming a better queen, to find out about the history of Leck, to finding a spy and a stolen crown.

Moreover, I absolutely loved the strong and independent female characters from the first and second book, Katsa and Fire, and their determination neither to get married not to get children. But in this book, I had the feeling that the author desperately  tried to include as many “members“ of the LGBT spectre as possible. Which was mostly just a side note and not essentially important for the storyline. That confused me so much that I stopped reading at some point and asked myself, why this fact was mentioned when it won’t be important for any problem in the main storyline.

All in all, I still think that Graceling would have been an amazing standalone and in connection with Bitterblue even a good duology.
Nevertheless, I’m still of the opinion that Fire was absolutely senseless, even if i consider the fact that the author brought back the universe, the events and even Fire herself during the last 30 pages of the third book.


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