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Bitterblue [Paperback]

Kristin Cashore
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

11 April 2013

The long-awaited companion to the NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers GRACELING and FIRE.

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 35-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past. Whatever that past holds.

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...

Frequently Bought Together

Bitterblue + Fire: 2 (Graceling) + Graceling: 1
Price For All Three: 20.45

Buy the selected items together
  • Fire: 2 (Graceling) 5.99
  • Graceling: 1 7.43

Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (11 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0575097191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097193
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristin Cashore is an exceptional new voice in the fantasy genre whose characterisation, beautifully realised world and compelling narratives set her apart. If you love to be swept up and away by a novel then these are must-read books, from a master storyteller.

Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer.

She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Graceling, her first book, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, won the prestigious Mythopoeic Award, and is already a New York Times bestseller. Fire is her second novel, and a third is on the way.

Product Description


This rich and poignant fantasy grapples with the messy aftermath of destroying an evil overlord.

Gorgeous, textured prose is filled with images of strange beauty and restrained horror. It propels an intricate narrative dense with subplots and rich in characters familiar and new. Weaving them together are all the lies: conspiracies and ciphers, fakes and false testimony, spies and thieves, disguises and deceptions, mazes and puzzles.

They are lies spun from greed, shame, strategy, fear, duty - even kindness.

And it is Bitterblue who, trapped in this net of deceit, must draw upon all her courage, cleverness and ferocious compassion to reveal the truth-and to care for those it shatters.

Devastating and heartbreaking, this will be a disappointment for readers looking for a conventional happy ending. But those willing to take the risk will - like Bitterblue - achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning.

(Kirkus 2012-03-01) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Bitterblue has a fractured kingdom to heal - and the poisonous shadow of a mad king to lift from her people - in this beautifully told adventure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant- probably the best of the series. 30 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bitterblue is the third and i believe final book in the Seven Kingdoms series and focuses on Bitterblue, the daughter of Leck. Carrying on from the first book, Graceling, it focuses on the kingdom of Monsea which is struggling to come to terms with 35 years of Leck's cruelty and evil. Bitterblue not only struggles with her own past as the daughter of a immensely cruel man who murdered her own mother but also with her advisors who are all hiding dark secrets.
Who can Bitterblue trust? Why are her advisors lying to her? Just what is going on in her kingdom and who is killing the people seeking the truth of Leck's crimes? This book is a utterly fantastic read, its quick-paced, vast in scale and completely gripping. Previous characters from the series make an appearance including both Po and Katsa. I must say i did love how Cashore thought to introduce some variation and includes gay characters in the book. However, what really made this book for me was that though the story focuses on Bitterblue you have a sense of this very real world where events are also taking place elsewhere. Characters come in and out of Bitterblue's story as they return and leave Monsea. The book creates a truly fantastical world on a epic scale and it all adds up to a truly rewarding read. Admittedly i cannot remember the first two books in any great detail (since i read them years ago) but nevertheless i think i'm justified in saying that this is better than both of them. I greatly admire Cashore's decision to write a book set in a fantastical world complete with humans with superpowers/special gifts , but the protagonist herself is just a simple young woman with no special powers yet is lumbered with the immense challenge of restoring a kingdom.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, Bitterblue 30 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
[Review contains spoilers for Graceling and Fire]

Eight years after Katsa defeats Leck, Bitterblue is still struggling as Queen of Monsea, dealing with the aftermath of her father's horrific 35-year reign. But despite forward-thinking policies, people cannot shake off Leck's ghost, and it seems that even dead, he has a strange hold over them. With mysteries no one can answer - attempts on her life, persistent illiteracy, strange night-time excursions by her advisors, the killing of 'truthseekers' - Bitterblue goes into the night and into the darkest pasts. She befriends a group of truthseekers who want to expose the crimes of Leck and his accomplices, and become targets for someone who wants to silence them and bury the truth. The more she uncovers, the more unstable her world becomes, but with the aid of her old friends Katsa and Po, Giddon, Raffin, Bann, and new friends - including Saf, a graceling thief and truthseeker - she may finally discover how to heal her kingdom and herself.

Bitterblue is a fitting conclusion, I think, to this series (if it *is* the conclusion?). As I started reading, I began to realise that it is Leck who ties these three books together, Leck to whom all the mysteries and horrors return: his rule over Monsea in Graceling, his past in Fire, and finally, his legacy, in Bitterblue. The destinies and lives of three very different protagonists in their respective books - Katsa, Fire, and Bitterblue - are shaped around the actions of this aberrant graceling. I think Bitterblue (the book) finally reveals as much truth as can be found about Leck, and imagines a way forward for all the Kingdoms - I loved that this book consciously drew together significant things from Graceling and Fire.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem 23 Mar 2012
By J. Patterson VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I must be honest and say that a little over a week ago i picked up Graceling and read it to cover. About halfway through I ordered Fire (book 2) and got a copy of Bitterblue which i finished reading earlier tonight. All 3 were excellent, well written pieces that sucked me in despite my doubts that the next book couldn't possibly be as good as the one that preceded it.

Bitterblue is a follow up to the first book and touches very little with the second storyline although there is some crossover. The story itself focuses on what happened after Lecks rule and how the kingdom responds to its freedom from his unique reign of tyranny, all seen primariy through the eyes of his daughter, the new Queen. The concept of the storyline is unique and the depth of characterisation and feeling the author is able to communicate about her characters is both moving and enjoyable. Many of the characters from the first book reappear consistently throughout whilst new characters enter the fray and each one adds a new dimension to the storyline rather than simply being flung in at the last minute. It is a quest for truth and understanding that kept its secret well right up until the very end where it finished with a nice dose of realism.

Pick it up, I can't see you being disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as powerful as the previous two books... 9 Sep 2012
By zombielover TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
... depending on what you are looking for.

I was personally put on guard by the blurb on the front cover - when the book is described as "awesome" by the Romantic Times. The Romantic Times... really? I don't know what I thought anyone else was reading with Graceling and Fire, but I thought it was a novel about strong independent women and their ability to fight, succeed, thrive even, without the lucid interventions of romanticism (or men, a la Penelope Pitstop).

Now I know this is a YA series but I did enjoy the strength of character given to Katsa and Fire in the previous two books - so much so I wished their characters had been explored more fully (Fire was better than Graceling, but still needed a little bit more to make it real).

In Bitterblue, Cashore goes to the complete polar opposite in terms of her characterisation, the minutiae is explored, and it is to the detrement of the plot, which is slow and oh so cumbersome.

Bitterblue herself appears to be a slave to her rather weak feelings, be it for her people in general or two particular people. Cashore builds up relationships during the novel only for them to go nowehere (unless these are explored in later novels) and the ending leaves me completely unfulfilled.

I would recommend it as a read, as the writing in this is certainly accomplished. But it is a bit drab, and the characters are less powerful. Even the stolid Katsa appears to be reduced to mainly fawning around (or tumbling in to / out of bed) with Po.

More Twilight than Wednesday Addams in terms of strong independant females, but I am sure fans of the saga will still like it, and it hasn't put me off reading any future offerings in the Graceling world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I have read the previous ones in this series and I like Bitterblue the best out of them all. Couldn 't put it down.
Published 24 days ago by P. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful conclusion to a wonderful series
Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
Published 28 days ago by floss
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitlterblue the seven kingdoms
Excellent read I would like to read more of Kristin Cashore's books . A very good book to recommend to a friend
Published 4 months ago by hamish
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Absolutly brilliant, recommended by my sister n im glad she did. Really enjoyed all 3 books and recommended reading to anyone who likes fantasy books
Published 4 months ago by kailley
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
A good third book, that seems to tie up all and any loose ends from the other two books. I really liked the end bit written in "Death's" hand (very dry humor! Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Entwistle
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT ENDING
Great last story to a brilliant trilogy. I did feel some parts of this story were a bit glazed over and not enough detail but not ever so much that you lost interest. Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic fantasy with heroines
I loved all 3 of these books and the way that each story though complete in its own right has twist of the others interwoven thoughout. Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. Pearce
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
I confess that the first book was more satisfactory to read. I loved to see that she was a proper badass killer. Not since Nini full existential crises. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ana Becken
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series
I very much enjoyed this series, although I'm not sure how well written it is - I just really liked the world it is set up in and, in particular, I like the focus on strong and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by A. Reader
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