Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 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.
My Review: Bitterblue was absolutely amazing. It was beautifully and complexly written, and had a lot of impact for me. It was sort of about self-discovery, coming to terms with the past, and moving on. There were so many different moving parts and conflicts, so many different things going on at once, and different pieces moved faster than others. I couldn't put it down. At all.
Almost everything about this book was complex. I absolutely loved that. There are so many different things going on, so many different characters, so many complex stories and relationships. It wasn't very hard to follow, but it made everything so much more interesting and impactful, and made it really hard to put down. Bitterblue is not a small book, but there was never a moment where it was hard for me to keep going.
The characters were also really complex. There were lots and lots of characters that returned from Graceling. There were lots of new relationships between the characters, and then there were that were the same as before. There were even more new characters, including Bitterblue's advisers, a creepy librarian named Death (Deeth), and the two thieves mentioned in the synopsis above. Every character had so many layers, and the relationships they had with other characters had so many layers. It was enthralling.
Bitterblue is a sequel to Graceling and a companion to Fire. Each book is very different from the other, and all three books could stand alone, but they compliment each other very well, and come together to paint a marvelous picture. And all three books made me cry at one point or another. :).
I definitely recommend this book. I highly suggest that you start with Graceling and Fire if you haven't already. It is most certainly worth it.