Sunday 3 June 2012

REVIEW, Bitterblue

The long-awaited companion to the New York Times bestseller Graceling and Fire

    Prod dets
Series: Seven Kingdom, book 3  
Pub:  2012, gollancz
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: fantasy
Format: paperback (lar); 539pp w/ 49 chapters
Age Range: YA

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.
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....

Let’s start with an understanding. I understand now why this book took so long to come out. I’ve never really complained about the fact that it took nearly two years from the last one even though it was meant to come out a year earlier, but it’s understandable that it took so long.
This book is full of complex facts that need to be fully understood and worked out in order to even begin to write it.
And to pull it off as well as Cashore did that a book as long and complex as this one was easy to read, understand and didn’t in any way bore you with too many facts or run around.
I am truly in awe of the woman for making me forget everything and become so invested in the story line from the moment I opened it up till I put it back down. It’s not an easy task and even less so for me, because Fantasy/mystery (which this one seemed to spill into) isn’t truly my favourite aspect in books.

Yeah....and now the book.
You see, here’s the thing...I loved it; I thought it was great and I couldn’t stop reading once I started. I’d love to write out all the things that I loved about the book
Like the way Po, Kasta, Giddon, Raff and Bann played into the whole show.
Or, Saf the guy that changed her perception of things she thought were given to her straight
Or Helda and Madlen
Or how I got a little annoyed of Bitterblue, but understood it, more so when she had to understand it herself, though she never saw what she was doing to Po when it was clear that’s what was happening.
Or Fire’s roll and the way the Dells where found
Yeah, I could gush and push ever part and point and player and facts that went down, or the whys and the who’s and the things that were both sweet and sad.
But that would ruin everything because eventually I would say one thing or another and spill something that needs to stay hidden.

I will say that Cashore did and beautiful job in twisting and turning everyone and everything that happened around her so that the story line was intriguing and even though you were always a little sure what was going on you didn’t know details and you so wanted the details.
It’s all about details, this book. Secrets and understandings and forgiveness to those who needed it more than anyone would know, and yet for what they did you are of two hearts.

And I’ll add the one thing that I loved about this book and I hope for everything that this is the last one in the series even though she’s left room for more. But it’s the way the end of the book was satisfying and yet left endless possibilities to more.
I absolutely love when the story, though complete is left with a sense that everything is still moving, that bigger things are to come, and you want to know what they are, but it’s nice that you won’t, that you’re left to think of those things and to have you own thoughts on what’s next for them all.
That you can have them doing and being what you wish rather than have it printed there in front.
I love this, love the openness of possibilities that is at the end of this book, and yet, it’s over, there is nothing left unturned that needed turning. No answers that needed telling.

I’m still very much in love with Graceling, and neither this book, nor Fire has stood up to it, or surpassed it, to me. But they are both worth the read. As I see it, sitting here with Bitterblue fresh in my mind, it’s about as good as Fire, they are on the same level, Gracling is just better.
But that’s me, what do you think?

Graceling, Fire, [tb]

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