Bitterblue - Ian Schoenherr, Kristin Cashore Took me a while to get my hands on this book. I read its predecessors about two years ago and, at the time, this book wasn't out yet. So I, needless to say, I had to wait until its release. I waited... then couldn't get my hands on it until this year, which killed me because I had enjoyed the first two tremendously. Anyway, I finally got it and I am glad that I read this book. I feel it wrapped up the story of the Seven Kingdoms nicely. There was action, drama, suspense, etc. The world is phenomenal as always, the story was engaging, and only a few characters were a nuisance. I don't have many complaints about this book except for the romance aspect of it (more on that later). Aside from that, this novels was a great example on how to wrap up a trilogy!

Kristin Cashore has become one of my favorite authors. No doubts about that. She can create a world from scratch and make it seem plausible. Her stories are so magical and incredible; you get lost in her books because they are just so easy to get into. Her writing has improved over time. It's only gotten better with her third book, Bitterblue. She has a way with words that sooth you, relaxes you then JUMPS out at you at the first sign of danger. I'm in love with her vocabulary. Whenever I read one of her books, I feel like I am gaining an infinite amount of knowledge because of the words she chooses to incorporate into her novels. Her ability to create a vast range of characters is also amazing. There's hardly ever a character that's similar in her books. I enjoy that. I love whenever I read something to have characters that are different from each other. It'd be a pretty boring read otherwise. I just love how Cashore creates the story she wants her readers to read.

Her characters are nicely diverse. Bitterblue is smart, strong, and well-rounded. For the most part, I enjoyed her quite a bit. It's when she wanted things done her way that she annoyed me. I didn't like how she mistreated a few characters because of her selfishness. However, I can forgive that because she is quite young and she is also responsible in taken care of an entire nation. Of course she is going to get stressed out and become slightly bratty because of it. I understand that. (Still doesn't make me happy about her treating Po like crap, though... -_-") What I didn't like about Bitterblue is when she got involved with Saf, a Lienid sailor and Blue's love interest. The romance was a bit... rushed and clunky. There was no substance to it. In fact, it was more that the characters were in lust together rather than love. They said it from the beginning that they had no intention of being together long term. And that's fine and all but... it's still no excuse to rush through their relationship. Besides, I rather have loyalty in my relationships. I've complained about this before in Cashore's other book. If your characters don't want to get married, that's totally fine with me. I, myself, am not keen on the thought of marriage. However, I believe in loyalty. I don't like the idea of sleeping around with a lot of people. If you have a partner, you should be loyal to that partner. It just makes sense. Well, throughout the story, Bitterblue lusted after Saf and when he wanted nothing to do with her, became pathetic and practically begged for him to come back to her. It was more than a little sad to see someone as strong as Bitterblue to do such a thing. Not to mention throughout the entire affair, she was making googly-eyes at Giddon (heavily implied that she and Giddon will get married in the future. <--Not spoiler. Obvious from the beginning of the book.) To me, it's just a bit sickening to see these characters throw themselves at someone else just to be with another character in the end.<br/>
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book or the other characters! I did! I think Saf was a bit... prickish. He wasn't one of my favorites... but his friend, Teddy, was adorable. He loved education, writing, and reading above all else! He wanted to educate people on what is happening in the city to better prepare them for what's to come. All this he wanted to do whilst also being a lovable goofball. He was so adorably goofy~ I wanted to hug him all the time. Raffin and Bann appear in this novel as well and all I have to say is: I totally called it. >:3 Katsa and Po are here, too, and I just freaking adore those two. The are sweet and loving towards one another, beating the crap out of each other, then loving each other up again. Po is still his sweetheart self and Katsa is still pretty much badass without all the stupidity she had in Graceling. But my absolute favorite character in this book has to be Death (pronounced in a way to rhyme with "teeth"). He's grumpy and mean and short-tempered with a lot of things. He's a bit of a smart-ass and has a snarky attitude. But underneath all that is a caring, intelligent, and fascinating man. His Grace is among the coolest and BEST I have ever read about. He has the Grace to be able to read at incredible speeds and remember, word for word, what he read. Dude, how awesome is that? Considering that you are on this site, no doubt you love to read. Imagine being able to do what Death can do. It's awesome! I love Death so much and I am so glad to see his inclusion in this novel. I quite enjoyed myself reading this book.

You should definitely give this book a try. It's fast-paced, suspenseful, and fun. The writing is amazing, the world fantastic, and a lot of the characters are quite enjoyable. Just remember that the romance is a bit iffy and Bitterblue has her moments of douche-baggery. Other than that, you should enjoy yourself. If you loved Graceling and Fire, then you will definitely love this one. I know I did! I cannot wait to add all three of these books into my personal collection. It'll be worth owning. ^_^