May 1, 2012: Dial
"Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only 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, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart."
I think I was speechless when I got my copy of Bitterblue. I remember the the days when its publication were still uncertain. You hang on to hope, and now it's really here. And it's intimidating. Caution readers: It's thick. It's quite lengthy. And it's really good.
If you've read both of Kristin Cashore's previous books, Graceling and Fire, you'll be happy to know that worlds will collide in Bitterblue. How? Well you have to find out for yourselves. Though it won't be easy. Just like in the story, the kingdom of Monsea is still recovering from the reign of King Leck, Bitterblue's father. The damage runs far deeper than Bitterblue ever thought.
It starts with Bitterblue's curiosity of her kingdom. Detached from her people, she decides to see what her city is like. And from there on, she gets entangled with finding out the truth behind her father's reign, the madness that seems to still linger with some of her people, and she will learn that some truths are just to painful to revisit.
Katsa, Po, and the rest of the council are back! I'm so happy to read about Katsa and Po again. They are my ultimate otp. There are heartbreaking moments but I think it made them more endearing to me.
Bitterblue has grown up to be a determined young woman. I sometimes get sad about her situation because she never really had a real childhood, and she had to carry on the responsibilities of a queen at a young age. Good thing she has good friends such as Katsa and Po. And she still has her Leinid side of the family to count on. More stories about her past is truly upsetting. And it takes a strong heart to face the things she had to endure to help her kingdom move on.
The only part that I'm still trying to grasp is the cipher part in the story. They used codes in the story and I'm quite curious on how they work. But my mind can only take so much. Haha! Maybe in the future I can check it again. It's really interesting and I quite enjoy the graphics in the book. I read the paperback edition of the book with the illustrations of the bridges and maps at the back. They're quite cool and useful when you're reading the story.
I know not all readers are up for some high fantasy reading. Though I love that George Martin have made more readers read the genre. Hopefully you'll enjoy Bitterblue as much as I did. Though it's really quite long so I suggest patience, a vivid imagination, and a spot in your heart for Bitterblue.