Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Reviewed by Sam!
Reviews for Book 1 and Book 2
What I drank prior: probably a bottle of wine on my own. This quarantine has be down and I’m super grumpy but my WRFB lovelies brought up my spirits… with spirits? Over video chat. I love them.
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 . . .
Drunk Overview: this is the final companion novel to the graveling books. I know these are meant to stand on their own but unlike the other two this one is quite downed at on the previous two volumes. This story surrounds queen Bitterblue. Yes the Bitterblue from book 1 who was like 4 (ok 10) years old and her fight to heal her queendom from the after effects of the god awful Leck. She decides she knows nothing about her world and (naturally) sneaks out and meets *gasp* BOYS. AnyaY these boys, Saf specifically, show her what’s what and how things may not be as she thought… even though they don’t know she’s queen and things go from there.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I LOVE MY BBS. What I love most about these stories are that they show relationships aren’t black and white. All of the stories show that love isn’t always enough. They show that friendship and the love it breeds is just as important as the love that makes you want to bang all over every surface. I love my friends. My friends keep me whole and sane. They hold me up when I need it. (You know who you are) but it doesn’t mean I want sex from them. It also doesn’t mean I want them to be my life partner. It means that love is dynamic and beautiful and these stories show that.
Characters: MY BABIES. Ok. So we get more from a character we didn’t get much from book 1, but we also have major roles by the MCs from that book as well. Katsa and Po and Giddon and the others. We get to know them on such a different level. From an outsiders’ perspective. In addition we get to learn more about those we sort of knew AND we get to meet new kids like Teddy and Saf and their respective sisters (who are probably life partners). The character development in these stories is astounding. I love all of them. I especially feel for those that Leck tortured for so many years but only want to make things right. what a gray area that must be painful to explore.
Plot: I wasn’t as drawn to this plot as the others. By this point I know the cadence right? But I was heartbroken even though I predicted it. Which I’m sure is what Kristen wanted. HEARTBROKEN.
Writing Style: I listened on audio and it’s still amazing. Well done all.
World Building: God DAMN did I love it. Since this boom came out in 2012 I feel no shame in saying the spoiler…
I loved how both worlds came together. Fire knew Bitterblue’s pain and I love that she came to try and help. I literally adored that.
What to pair it with: what’s the most comforting booze? A hot toddie? Yeah. That.
Rating: 4/5 shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,