Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Amanda6′s #CBR4 Review 27: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Amazon: “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.”

Okay, I just impatiently barreled through the whole Graceling trilogy (as it currently stands — is Cashore planning a fourth? Or is she creating some new adventure? All I know is I want in) and I wish there were more! To me, Kristin Cashore is a total badass. I can’t believe it took me 3 years to hear about this series (thanks again, CBR4!) In this trilogy, she’s created three female protagonists with complete personal agency. They are flawed, of course, as all human beings are, but they are also sympathetic and relatable. I’ve made this point in my reviews for Graceling and Fire, so I don’t need to belabor it again, but it seems to be such a wonderful thing that an author has made it a priority to explore so many different women and make them real people.

Anyway — about Bitterblue. This was a very different story, thematically, from the prior two novels in the series. Whereas its two predecessors had a lot of adventure and travel and a more epic scale, Bitterblue was more focused on the political machinations of one kingdom viewed from the microcosm of her base town, Bitterblue City. It’s a bit more of a mystery and detective story rather than action-adventure, as Bitterblue (the character) works to undo the layers of deception that keep her kingdom in a state of apathy. As with both Katsa of Graceling and Fire of Fire, much of Bitterblue’s motivation has to do with setting herself apart from, and making reparations for, her father/predecessors. She is determined to do right, even as in her immaturity and inexperience she is forced to rely on a network of staff that have been selected for her, rather than by her, with her trust. For some readers, the smaller scope of this novel may make it less *exciting*, but I found it to be a refreshing change of pace — Bitterblue is the first protagonist in the series that is not Graced or gifted with some kind of supernatural power. Though she does request the help and expertise of her Graced friends, her strength is in her natural intelligence, empathy, persistence, and leadership.
Overall, I couldn’t recommend this series more highly to anyone.

Single Post Navigation

5 thoughts on “Amanda6′s #CBR4 Review 27: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

  1. Great review! This is on my reading list for next month when we sneak away for a few days as a family after all the volleyball chaos. I can’t wait to read it and your review raised some intriguing points. Thank you! I’d highly recommend Divergent and Insurgent if you haven’t found those yet…

  2. Great review! I read this right when it came out and I just haven’t motivated myself to write the review yet, but I absolutely loved it. I have heard that she’s working on a fourth book, too.

    • alwaysanswerb on said:

      Thank you! If I remember correctly, you weren’t a huge fan of Fire, so it’s cool you ended up enjoying this one! And I’m glad to hear she’s working on a fourth 🙂

      • You do remember correctly, Fire herself just rubbed me the wrong way, she was such a petulant brat so much of the time! I seem to be in the minority with this opinion though. Either way, I’m glad we’re back with Katsa and co. and I’m already chomping at the bit for the next one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: