27 March 2014

Bitterblue - Kristen Cashore


Bitterblue - Kristin Cashore
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...

This was another fabulous book. Kristin Cashore is an excellent world builder. Its not just the world she has created though. It's the entire thing. Throughout all of her books you are aware that she has developed these characters well. Is aware there is a story waiting for all of them. So to have a book written about a Secondary character from Graceling was lovely. It really showed Cashore's skill in developing her characters that she could go ahead and create stories which stretch out over various different characters, different stories and yet still have them intertwine.

I liked Bitterblue, she was so lovely. So eager to fix things that had been done wrong to her people, but so clueless of how to do it. I liked that there was greater exploration of Leck's grace and the influence he had on others. Things which had only been touched upon in the other books were explored, such as Po's Grace. I liked that. I especially liked the notes at the end of the book where Cashore explained how she had put so much work into Po's grace after  miraculously making everything alright for him. It shows the care that went into writing this book.

I don't want to give anything away, which makes this really awkward. I loved the characterisation of everyone. I loved that you could see the strain that was being put on Po and Katsa's relationship as they are both such huge personalities that were struggling to be both together and independent, the key thing which Katsa had struggled with in her story. I'm glad that you could see that development f characters after getting the 'happily ever after' type ending with no true knowledge of what happened next. I think that's why I liked Bitterblue. After the ending of Graceling you were left wondering how they were going to get past everything. You get to see how in Bitterblue.

One thing I didn't like was that all these fantastic characters were introduced and developed, and I did feel a bit like I didn't get the full story for them. I wish Bitterblue had carried on longer. And it was already quite long. I wanted more. I always wanted more with all Cashore's books though. But, with this one especially. I needed more of a resolution than what was given. That may just be me though, I don't know how others felt, but I wanted more. That's the great thing about this world and these stories that have been written, there is the opportunity for me to be written, if inspiration should ever strike for Cashore. More could be written, and I for one hope there will be.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

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