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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars story telling - both tradional and contemporary, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: Bitterblue (Seven Kingdoms Trilogy 3) (Hardcover)
I read "Graceling" and was transported into the way of reading I experienced in childhood.
You know that feeling of excitement when the opportunity comes to read another big chunk?
I knew at once that here is a serious talent, with a capacity to hold you firmly to the story and yet surprise and delight you too.
So I was looking forward to more writing by Kristin Cashore.
I think she is great at building and drawing characters.
Katsa in Graceling has her powers and her vulnerabilities too - and I feel sure that this 3D painting of the major characters in these long novels is what brings them to life.
We become privileged to the dreams and fears of the actors and we are willing them to get what they want or need.
Now we have "Bitterblue" who I last remember as a charming 10 year old. Katsa and Po invested a lot of effort in reaching their little cousin far away from their homes.
And Bitterblue has grown up now and is responsible for the country of Monsea - one of the 7 kingdoms.
Right from the first page we almost become her, and the sense of conflict she feels within her is beautifully explored. She has a high sense of duty as the Lady Queen, yet she is also a girl with the needs and desires of a young growing person. It's so easy to walk in her shoes, and the tension created by Cashore's well paced series of incidents builds with every chapter.
One event I loved was Bitterblue in disguise finding herself in a public house with no money! Resourcefully she obtains some and in doing so makes friends with 2 characters who become firmly established and vital to the development of the whole story.
Of course she cannot tell them she is Queen of the city - and this becomes her first chance to develop her own sense of self - re invent herself. The way this aspect of the tale unfolds is delightful and I found myself visiting all the emotions the cast of characters went through.
All through we don't dare to predict -and indeed there is no need - for the author goes out into her imagination to bring us sequences we might not dream up yet when they arrive seem so inevitable.
Comparisons may arise with JK Rowling for me there was more than a similarity to the surreal worlds of Mervyn Peakes Gormenghast with a touch of "Buffy" added into the mix.
Young people who love reading will feel tempted to race through this book.
I purposely made it last as long as possible (which wasn't long) and am now looking forward to reading Fire which tho an earlier book stands by itself as all three stories do.
Buy it and feel reassured by the review on the front cover 'There are not enough words to describe how wonderful this book is'
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Location: Devon, UK

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