Plot[ edit ] Eight years after the events of Graceling , Bitterblue, now eighteen, is Queen on Monsea. She is determined to restore peace and justice to her land, and rebuild the kingdom left in ruins by her father, King Leck, Her advisors Darby, Rood, Runnemood, and Thiel seem to be keeping her in the dark, and want her to act as a figurehead. And so, Bitterblue disguises herself as a servant and begins a truth-seeking campaign in the city. She stops at a tavern, which she learns is a story-room, where she hears stories about her kingdom and history. She meets the young thieves Teddy and Sapphire Saf , who is also a Graceling, but oddly, does not know what his grace is. Unaware of her true identity, they nickname Bitterblue "Sparks".
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This book was one of the most anticipated reads of the year for me and will go down my personal history as one of the most massive disappointments.
It has to be acknowledged, though, that most of the reviews of Bitterblue so far have been very positive and contained words like "genius" and "masterpiece" in them. My opinion appears to be out of norm. All of this is in the novel. Bitterblue is 18 now, a rightful queen of Monsea, running her kingdom efficiently enough with the help of her advisers who urge her to forget the horrors of the past and look forward.
But then she starts noticing that there is something really wrong going on around her. People act irrationally, they lie about the smallest things, they make no sense.
She ventures outside the walls of her castle, to meet regular people and to find out the real state of things in her country. Bitterblue comes across even more odd behaviors and crimes.
She does her best to untangle the web of lies, puzzles and madness The truths Bitterblue uncovers are powerful, and they have to be explored. But I feel like Cashore arrives at those truths by a route that is too complicated, convoluted and scattered. Too many side plots, too much talk of ciphers and codes, too many characters coming and going, too many illogical occurrences that instead of making the story more intricate, end up making it too busy and messy.
I am definitely a fan of twisty, complicated plots. Events and characters in this novel are completely insane. They make no sense, they defy logic, they stand out to any person as odd. And why is everyone acting so crazy? As a mystery, Bitterblue did not work for me at all. Untangling a mystery in which no one even makes an effort to pretend to act normally is too much a challenge for me. There are things I did like in Bitterblue. Many I am sure will be happy to see Po and Katsa again although they seem to be a lot more And the last hundred pages, where some secrets are uncovered and things start coming together, are much more pleasurable to read.
It was a challenge, it was a struggle.
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm Series #3)