Author: Kristin Cashore
Year Published: 2012
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Synopsis: 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 35-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.
Why?: I really enjoyed Graceling, and was really interested in seeing what would happen with Bitterblue. I'm also hoping Katsa and Po are in this book at least in some capacity, because I really enjoyed their characters and watching them develop. I wasn't such a big fan of Fire, but I feel like Bitterblue will be more in the style of Graceling.
Expectations: I expect Cashore to expand upon the world she created in Graceling and Fire. Will Bitterblue have to travel to the Dell? Or will she stay on her side of the mountains? I expect there to be conflict, mystery, and romance, but I think all of them well be dealt with well. Hopefully Bitterblue is closer to Graceling than to Fire! But definitely still completely different from both.
Judging a book by its cover: This cover is kind of a generic YA fantasy cover. Don't get me wrong, I do like it! I just don't think it's as eye-catching as some of the other ones that are out there. I'm not sure what the significance of the keys is, but I'm hoping that after reading the book they will make more sense.