Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #3
Publication date: 01 May 2012
Format: Hardback - 576 pages
Genre: YA | Fantasy
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 realising 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 put off reading this one for so long because I couldn't stand the thought of the series ending. I bought the book as soon as it came out last year and just didn't pick it up - in that time though, I read the first two books in the series twice over. After finishing Fire, the second book in the series, I just couldn't take it and had to find out what happens.
Normally with series I experience a lot of anticipation in the sense that I worry if the last book will disappoint me, especially if the rest of the series was as good as this one. I never experienced that with this series. These books are not just about what happens in them, but how the story is told. Cashore really does have this gift with writing that makes the storytelling wonderful and something you can't stop thinking about. It makes me think about sitting in front of a fire with a cup of tea, listening to my grandfather tell me about the good old days when he used to play on farms and whatnot. It's not about what he's saying but how he says it that pulls me in. Cashore is definitely one of my favourite authors just on that merit alone.
This is a really big book! And yet I found myself finishing it in just a day because I couldn't put it down. It helped that college is off right now so I had a day to do as much reading as I could. But it was so exciting - it seemed at times that this whole kingdom under Bitterblue's command was at stake and everything was going wrong - I really couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I also loved how all of the books were connected in the end. It was so lovely and it was a great ending to a series as a whole. It left a lot to interpretation but not so much so that anything was left unresolved.
Overall I guess you can tell I loved this book. It has amazing writers, brilliant characters and suspense to boot. The whole series is amazing so if you haven't read it, please pick up the books and read them, you won't be disappointed.
My rating: 10/10