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Bitterblue (Graceling)by Kristin Cashore
Synopses & Reviews
The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire
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.
"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. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A story that transcends the genre with its emotional and philosophical weight." BCCB (starred review)
"Devastating and heartbreaking...those willing to take the risk will — like Bitterblue — achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Cashore's imagined world is brilliantly detailed and brimming with vibrant and dynamic characters." School Library Journal (starred review)
"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 long literary tradition." New York Times Book Review
"Readers will gallop through [Bitterblue], eager to catch up on beloved characters and hopeful that the Seven Kingdoms can at last find peace. There are astonishing and sometimes heartbreaking discoveries....Buy all three volumes, in multiple copies." VOYA (starred review)
The powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy.
A stunning debut novel about a girl who is half dragon, half human, and wholly herself.
Enter the Graceling Realm and let it work its magic . . .
When Queen Bitterblue took the throne of Monsea, she was a child, and her advisers ran the kngdom 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 Monseas 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 unforgettable—a gateway to the Graceling Realm that braids together magic, memory, and romance.
As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile—but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.
Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by a Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.
About the Author
Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Graceling, her first book, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
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