Monday, July 16, 2012


The third book set in the world of Graceling is finally out and it was well worth the wait.  I just finished Bitterblue, and after 547 pages, I still wish there was more to read.  If you haven't read Graceling or Fire, I strongly suggest starting with those. If you have read them then you know what an excellent world author, Kristin Cashore, created and you may wonder if she was able to keep the momentum going for a third book.  Indeed she was--she didn't miss a beat.  I hesitate to say more without revealing spoilers, but I will say that the conflict of this third book is complex--a kingdom in psychological ruins after the overthrow of a sadistic tyrant, a queen trying to find herself and save her people, a world in which truthseekers face death for daring to reconstruct the past and where betrayal and lying aren't as black and white as right and wrong .  Several favorite characters from Graceling reappear and new characters quickly win the reader's heart.  I was especially pleased to see a grumpy librarian, whose grace is the ability to speed read and remember every word he has ever read, play a major role.  Lots of enjoyable humor in the book helps lighten the darker passages and the Royal Librarian, Death, (rhymes with teeth) features in some of that humor.  As always there is a romantic angle, but it does not oveshadow the story or turn the main character into a simpering fool.  I hope this isn't the end of the Graceling world, but if the author has finished with it, then I'm sure she has something else up her sleeve and it will be a pleasure to find out what that might be.

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