Enter the Graceling Realm and let it work its magic in this unforgettable novel from New York Times bestselling author Kristin Cashore.
When Queen Bitterblue took the throne of Monsea, she was a child, and her advisers ran the kingdom for her. Now she is beginning to question their decisions, especially how they handle the legacy of her father Leck, who who ruled through his Grace—a special talent for mind-altering—and his taste for darkness and violence. Bitterblue needs to know Monsea’s past to lead it into the future, so she begins exploring the city sreets at night, disguised and alone. As she does, she meets two thieves, who hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
Bitterblue is a gateway to the Graceling Realm that braids together magic, memory, and romance.
Look for Kristin Cashore's highly-anticipated return to the Graceling Realm, Winterkeep!
"Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both. Thrillingly imagined and beautifully executed, Bitterblue stands as a splendid contribution in a long literarly tradition." —The New York Times Book Review on Bitterblue
* "Brilliantly detailed and brimming with vibrant and dynamic characters." —SLJ, starred review of Bitterblue
“There are some books that stick with you for years, and Kristen Cashore’s Fire is one of them. Thoughtful, steamy and completely original, Fire is YA fantasy at its absolute best.”—Sabaa Tahir, author of New York Times bestselling Ember in the Ashes on Fire
A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Title
When last seen, Bitterblue had been crowned queen of Monsea, after Katsa, the heroine of Graceling, killed her father, King Leck. (He had it coming.) Eight years have passed; Bitterblue, now 18, is in power, even as her counselors have attempted to sweep the wretched perversity of Leck's reign under the rug. Bitterblue objects not only because she thinks she needs to understand that history in order to lead but because she feels constrained by busy work that keeps her trapped in the castle. Spirited and frustrated, she dons a disguise, sneaks out, and quickly befriends a printer and a handsome thief. Complications, naturally, ensue. Her romance and growth into the role of queen are among the best parts of this sprawling story, which brings forward (but does not entirely resolve) plot strands from both Graceling and Fire. There are many pleasures fans will welcome the return of Katsa and her lover, Po; Bitterblue's court includes Death (rhymes with teeth), a dour librarian graced with the ability to read fast and remember every word. Once the narrative shifts from Bitterblue's clandestine adventures in the city to her convalescence inside the castle, the story loses some steam, even as the sick nature of Leck's abuses are unearthed. Nonetheless, devotees of the earlier books and fans of Megan Whalen Turner's intricate political fantasies will relish this novel of palace intrigue. Ages 14 up.
After reading Fire, I thought its only purpose was to tell us where Leck came from. It's a whole lot more once Bitterblue is read! All in all, a great story of family, friends, struggles, life and love. And of course a real nutcase!