Bitterblue (Kristin Cashore)

Bitterblue is Kristin Cashore‘s newest novel, a sequel to Graceling (review 1, 2) and companion to Fire (review 1, 2).

Plot:
It’s been 8 years since the events in Graceling and that Bitterblue has become Queen of Monsea. But Monsea is still struggling with what Leck did to it and Bitterblue doesn’t have much idea of what is actually happening in her country. That is, until she decides one night to just slip outside the castle and head into town. The more she discovers, though, and the more questions she asks, the more secrets she seems to uncover.

After the pure delights that Fire and Graceling are, Bitterblue was pretty disappointing. The pacing didn’t work for me at all, but even more than that, Bitterblue didn’t work for me – she was just way too emo that I could really relate.

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Re-Read: Graceling (Kristin Cashore)

Graceling is the first novel by Kristin Cashore, loosely connected to her novel Fire [which I’ve reviewed here and here] and followed by Bitterblue. I reviewed it here for the first time.

Plot:
Katsa is Graced: a special and extreme talent. Unfortunately, her Grace is to kill. She has suffered her whole life for it, constantly pressuring herself to get herself under perfect control, while having to work as a common thug and contract killer for her uncle, King Randa.
But Katsa sees the injustices in the kingdoms around her and decides that she can atone for her Grace by setting some things right. Therefore she forms a council that works for the people.
But when Katsa and the council rescue an old man who has been kidnapped and Katsa meets another Graceling, a fighter, she soon has to see that something is really very wrong in her world.

I wanted to read Graceling a little more slowly the second time round, like I did with Fire. It proved to be impossible. I fell into the book as much as the first time round and gobbled it up in only a couple of days. And again, there was laughing out loud and actual tears.

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Re-Read: Fire (Kristin Cashore)

Fire is Kristin Cashore’s second novel. It’s a prequel to Graceling [which I’ve reviewed here] but stands on its own (and even spoils Graceling if you haven’t read it yet, so beware). Here’s my first review of it.

Plot:
In the Dells, there are monsters: Animals that look quite normal, except that they are brightly colored and with the power to control the minds of others. Monsters are carnivores with a special hunger for monster meat. Fire is the last of the human monsters. She’s impossibly beautiful, has bright red hair and is jealously guarded by her childhood friend and lover Archer.
Fire would have probably enough on her plate just by being herself – alternately admired and feared by everyone around her and struggling with the memories of a cruel father who used his monsterness for cruelty – but she gets caught up in the young king’s struggle for the throne and has to worry about assassins with weirdly clouded minds.

With the release of Bitterblue, I decided that a re-read of Fire and Graceling was in order before I delved into the new book. And I was just as caught up in Fire this time around as the first time.

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Fire (Kristin Cashore)

Fire is Kristin Cashore‘s second novel. It’s a prequel to Graceling [which I’ve reviewed here] but stands on its own. Even though the events in Fire happen before Graceling it should nevertheless be read second because otherwise you’ll spoil Graceling.

Plot:
In the Dells, there are monsters: Animals that look quite normal, except that they are brightly colored and with the power to control the minds of others. Monsters are carnivores with a special hunger for monster meat. Fire is the last of the human monsters. She’s impossibly beautiful, has bright red hair and is jealously guarded by her childhood friend and lover Archer.
Fire would have probably enough on her plate just by being herself – alternately admired and feared by everyone around her and struggling with the memories of a cruel father who used his monsterness for cruelty – but she gets caught up in the young king’s struggle for the throne and has to worry about assassins with weirdly clouded minds.

Fire was a wonderful read. The story is exciting, the characters are wonderful and the romance… *le sigh*

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Graceling (Kristin Cashore)

Graceling is Kristin Cashore‘s debut novel. It’s a stand-alone (young adult) fantasy novel, though Cashore’s second novel Fire is a kind of companion book and a sequel/spin-off is being written.

Plot:
Katsa is Graced: a special and extreme talent. Unfortunately, her Grace is to kill. She has suffered her whole life for it, constantly pressuring herself to get herself under perfect control, while having to work as a common thug and contract killer for her uncle, King Randa.
But Katsa sees the injustices in the kingdoms around her and decides that she can atone for her Grace by setting some things right. Therefore she forms a council that works for the people.
But when Katsa and the council rescue an old man who has been kidnapped and Katsa meets another Graceling, a fighter, she soon has to see that something is really very wrong in her world.

I totally and completely loved Graceling*. Katsa is a great protagonist, the story is interesting and kept me engaged all the time and the book not only made me laugh, it also made me cry.

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