BITTERBLUE is the 3rd book in the GRACELING trilogy, and it was a very complex conclusion to our characters’ stories. In this book, we follow Bitterblue, the daughter or Leck, the tyrannical leader of the Graceling kingdom, Monsea. Bitterblue is desperately trying to piece her kingdom back together and heal the wounds inflicted upon her people by her monstrous father. However, she can’t heal her people if she doesn’t know what happened in the first place.
I really enjoyed BITTERBLUE. While I have to say it was a very dark read, it was definitely enjoyable. There were little bits of humor and happiness to balance out the pain and the suffering. This definitely helped me get through it faster. Without these little bits of good, solid contentedness, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get through it so quickly, because I probably would have had to take breaks between the darkest parts.
I have to compare this trilogy to the GIVER quartet. Each book follows a new main character, and each books’ main characters are linked together in some way by the end of the trilogy. I really liked the way this was handled in this particular trilogy, and felt that it was on par with the GIVER quartet. I couldn’t really say which was better.
The only real problem I could foresee for other readers it the complexity of the story. Younger readers may not be able to follow some of the subtext and subliminal implications that are placed in the book, and it’s definitely a darker YA read (some parental guidance suggested). It deals with some pretty messed up stuff. So much so that some of the characters are shells of the people they used to be.
I almost wish there was a fourth book to the trilogy, or at least an epilogue. I feel like there wasn’t quite enough resolution for me, at least from the emotional perspective. I felt that all the political turmoil was pretty well resolved.
I really hope Cashore writes more books in the future. I really enjoy reading everything she writes, and I would definitely be interested in reading more of her work.
I gave BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore 5 out of 5 stars.
THE NEXT SECTION OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
IF YOU DO NOT WISHED TO BE SPOILED FOR ANYTHING THAT OCCURS IN THE GRACELING TRILOGY, PLEASE STOP READING NOW.
So, I’m really disappointed that we don’t get to see farther into Bitterblue’s future. Does she marry? If so, whom? I can almost see her marrying Giddon, but of course that wouldn’t work. I really loved her relationship with Sapphire, but he’s gone now. I really wish we’d seen how or if that ever changed.
Thiel dying hit me pretty hard. I thought that after Bitterble pulled him back, he wouldn’t try again. But he did. He killed himself. Darby’s death hurt less, and I’m just glad that it wasn’t Holt or Rood, though I wasn’t exactly happy that Darby hanged himself.
I also think the homosexual references were interesting, and I find myself wondering if that was some kind of political jab. I don’t really feel it was necessary to bring up, but I don’t mind that it was. I feel that it was a little over-kill. I don’t think that it was necessary beyond Bren, Tilda, and Skye. All other references seemed a little redundant.
Also, it makes me really happy that Brigan and Fire are married and that Hannah is the leader of the Dellian army. That was my favorite thing to read in the entire book. It made me so happy.