‘Bitterblue’ Review

Title: Bitterblue
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre:  Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Mystery, Romance

Premise: The premise of ‘Bitterblue’ picks up years after Bitterblue was saved by Katsa and Po the main characters of  ‘Graceling’. The young girl they picked up now is older, nearing her twenties. The others from ‘Graceling’ are there too. Po. Raffin. Bann. Giddon. And, of course, the Graced fighter Katsa. Bitterblue is forced to pick up the piceces of her kingdom after left in the ruins after Leck.

Plot: The plot is amazing. The twists keep you on the edge of your toes. Leck is weaved into the story. Leck isn’t the only person who is dead officially but seems alive. His influence is all over the book. The book is not only Leck’s story, but it’s Bitterblue’s. Bitterblue isn’t the stated character. The author herself says that it is Leck. She said that it was Leck’s story. And it seems that way. The story has twists. Attacks. Betrayal. Secrets. Saf and Bitterblue. Katsa and Po. The sleepy ear kiss between Raffin and Bann. Relationships not limited to two straight, royals. People who are not royal. And the hints of the Dells and Pikkia. The secrets the men who support Bitterblue hold. I am a bit disappointed with how rushed the ending seemed. It seemed like Fire was so…conveniently there. But. I don’t mind that. Fire is a good character. Her power made translation possible. The last pages, though, made me wonder.
Who is Leck?

Character Development: Bitterblue is an ignorant child in the beginning. She turns into this lady. The characters are all beautifully written. They have their own stories. They all have their own reactions. Saf is one of those characters you hate, but, once you know his Grace and see him caring for Bitterblue, you absolutely love him. Giddon is a character you might hate at the end of ‘Graceling’. You will love him in ‘Bitterblue’, though.

Problems: My problem with this book is the Saf and Bitterblue relationship. I mean…it’s adorable. That is true, but it seems like Giddon and Bitterblue seems better. Just my opinion. I do think Saf isn’t the best choice for Bitterblue. She is someone who deserves a person who isn’t flighty. Flighty Saf did teach her many things, though. He healed her, in a way. And she, in turn, healed the world. She healed her kingdom. She tries, and seemingly succeeds, to fix the kingdom that Leck broke. I do thank Saf for that.

I hate how it ended. This series definitely needs another book! The questions left about Leck. Who was he? Was he someone who was a psychopath by nature or nurture? Why was he controlling? He went to the Dells…but why did he love it?


Katsa… Let’s not forget her. Oh Katsa. You seem too…happy. You were always the brooding type to me. The one who stayed in the shadows. But nope! She’s all, ‘Po. Bed. You and me. Now.’ I can understand her happiness at seeing Po, but she seems too moody and all compared to ‘Graceling’ Katsa. Perhaps age does that to you.


But. I will not forgive the seabane. Seabane here. Seabane there.

Seabane everywhere! Why does everyone seem to think that the world revolves around: Graces, sex, and your position in power? I don’t particularly like that.

(But Bitterblue totally needed that seabane. I would prefer if she hadn’t done…’it’ with anyone, but I guess that things don’t always end up the way you want it to.)




This is just too cute. Bitterblue and Giddon? Adorable. I do love that couple. They are cute and romantic. Giddon is not Saf. He is someone else entirely, and I do admire Giddon for growing out of his boyish and childish ways. Giddon is a perfect love interest for Bitterblue. If only Kristin Cashore continued the series… We’ve been waiting years!


And we have Saf and Sparks. I do consider Bitterblue Sparks when she is with Saf. I do think their relationship is a bit…tortuous for Bitterblue. She really tore herself apart. And I can’t believe she took Saf to bed right after Thiel went ‘bye bye’. I don’t think people usually do that. But it’s Bitterblue. She is unpredictable at times. They are not the best couple I’ve ever seen. But they are cute, to an extent. Saf brings up questions. Why why why. There are too many to count.

I do love this picture of them. It’s beautiful really. Makes Saf look more handsome than some other drawings. And Sparks…she looks like she really does care for him.



Oh Katsa and Po. I do ship this. It is adorable. Look at it! I mean…they look like they’re wrestling, but they end up kissing. This is the one thing I do love about the entire series. Katsa and Po. They truly do love each other. My problems is the seabane. They, Katsa and Po, seem to always be finishing or about to finish or about to start ‘it’. Gosh. That drives me nuts!
Score: 9/10

Recommended: To the fans of Bitterblue. To those interested in Leck. To those who love ciphers and codes. To those who want to see more Po and Katsa action. Not to mention Raffin and Bann (adorabe) and hints of Fire from the second book.

‘Agwwiualyr’ gv s vwoub rou wfi seiv.
‘Bitterblue’ is a story for the ages.

(I honestly love this code. This is an interesting idea. In this book, the code was helpful.)


Here are the good things about this book (I usually won’t add these, but I do adore this book):

Bitterblue: She is witty and amazing. She isn’t all powerful in the way Katsa, Po, and Fire are. She is her own person. She has witty responses and is sassy. #sassyblue (That should be a thing.)

I mean…look at this quote!

“Give me a mathematics problem, would you?” she said to Saf unsteadily.
“Huh?” he said. “You mean like, what’s twelve times twelve?”
She glared at him. “That’s just insulting.”
Pg. 119 ‘Bitterblue’


She is very smart. I do love how smart she is. The question, though, is where this smart comes from. Where did she get so witty? I do love the change from the little girl in ‘Graceling’ to the mature Bitterblue this is.’


Giddon: Giddon really has changed in this book. He matured. He aged. He turned into a confidant. I do love Giddon’s change. He is older and wiser now. He won’t make the same mistakes with Bitterblue like he did with his obsession with Katsa. He is kinder and seemingly…more attracted to Bitterblue. I do think Giddon and Bitterblue is adorable. Saf is that boyfriend you regret. Giddon is the soulmate you will never forget. Or so I think.


The Continuation of Leck: I do think Leck left problems. Bitterblue has to fix them. There is the questions about his odd palace. The three bridges. The rivers. The statues. And you wonder…who was Leck? Who was he really?


Ciphers: The ciphers are amazing. I now know another code to add to my assembly. I can definitely use that code. It is quite amazing. There isn’t much to say more…


The Harsh Reality: In the real world, people do self harm. They cut. They bleed. They choke. They do things you might not think possible. They hurt themselves. Suicide is also a problem. People consider it. People attempt it. People succeed. That’s the problem. And the public doesn’t know. Sure, murderers who commit suicide are heard. The ordinary people? Statistics. This book isn’t realistic, but it exposes real problems. And there is one quote I do love between Bitterblue and Helda about Thiel’s self harm scars:

“Would a person ever cut himself,” she said, “on purpose?”
Pg. 391 ‘Bitterblue’
“I wonder if it’s meant to be punishment for something one can’t forgive oneself for. Or an external expression, Lady Queen, of an internal pain? Or perhaps it’s a way to realize that you do actually want to stay alive.”
Pg. 391 ‘Bitterblue’
Kristin Cashore exposes these problems in a fantasy book. Fantasy. It shows that…these things aren’t just statistics.
And…I appreciate that.



Honestly, I do love this book. There are romance problems…but they seem fixable. I do love ‘Bitterblue’ and do recommend it.


NOTE: I don’t think this is a book of romance. It’s a book of redemption. Of reward. Of learning of love. Of experiencing new things. I do not, under any circumstances, think this is a romance book. It isn’t ‘Graceling’ or ‘Fire’. ‘Fire’ was surrounded by sex and romance. (Which made it…gaudy.) I do think ‘Graceling’ is good, but ‘Bitterblue’ is more puzzles and ciphers. I do love the ciphers and codes. Too bad I can’t read Dellian language!


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