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.
A wonderful read!! Recommend that Graceling be read first. Knowing that story brings the characters of this one to life in a colorful, imaginative, heartfelt way....
Cashore just gets better and better with each book. I will admit that Graceling didn't do much for me, but Fire completely blew me away. But both Graceling and Fire are about extraordinary women; Bitterblue is about an ordinary young woman trying her best to be queen in a world screwed up by her psychopathic father. I think Bitterblue is Cashore's best effort yet.
First of all I must say how fantastic these books have been for me. Graceling was a great story and an amazing romance novel, that delved deep into the mind of someone who felt like a puppet. Fire was inspired and I thought brought a great view into an emotional character who is learning about herself and teaching the reader about the world around her. I thought the love story in Fire was very well developed as well. Bitterblue is my favorite of the three and I think the best plot by far. It is the longest of the three and because of this may seem "boring" to some at times, but the writing of Cashore makes the characters so life like, that sometimes we need a little boring to balance out everything else that is going on in the plot line. Also in that big of a book repetitive, unending action would make the whole thing seem unreal. Cashore is such an amazing writer I almost want to ask her if she is graced with storytelling. The characters are so life like at times it's scary. She lets each character have their own story rather than focusing too much on the main character. Long story short these books are a must read and will always have a place on my bookshelves.