Series: Graceling Realm #3
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
I’ve heard some negative things about this book, so I was a literal nervous to read it. It’s easy for me to see why people would dislike this, but I really enjoyed it. To me, this is a fantasy built on characters and some mystery and politics instead of being action packed. And I respect the fact that Ms. Cashore is willing to make choices you wouldn’t normally see in a YA books even though they make me sad sometimes.
Before I get into the actual book, I want to address things I’ve seen in reviews on all three of the Graceling books. People say that her books are full of casual sex and she’s using them to promote some sort of anti-marriage agenda. Now, I don’t know Ms. Cashore and maybe this is her plan, but why does it matter? I am a hopeless romantic who believes in marriage…for me. And it’s actually refreshing to see female characters who aren’t hyper-focused on getting married and having babies. Diversity is a good thing in all ways. And while there is sex I think the characters make that choice with a great deal of thought.
OK. I’ll talk about the actual book now. I liked Bitterblue in Graceling, but now she’s grown up and a queen. I thought she was a great protagonist and I liked how she grew as she learned more things. It was also nice to see Katsa, Po, and the other characters from Graceling. One of the questions I’ve had about Prince Raffin was finally answered.
The writing is definitely on the slower side, but it’s beautiful. Even when there wasn’t a lot of plot going on I wanted to keep reading. I’m not sure if this will make sense, but I find it peaceful. Fast-paced books are great, but I often feel exhausted when I finish them. My one complaint is that the mystery was almost too mysterious. Bitterblue would be going over things to try and get answered and I’d often get confused.
I was a little surprised when the story ended. I was certain there was more, but no. Initially, I was a little upset, but as I’ve sat with it, I’m ok. There’s still a lot of political things left unresolved, but that’s normal and real. There is one plot point I wish was more resolved, but it fits the narrative for it not to be.
I don’t know if Kristin Cashore is planning on writing another book, but if she does I would probably check it out.
Thanks for reading!