March 27, 2014

BOOK REVIEW | The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Basic information
Title: The Bitter Kingdom (Goodreads)
Author: Rae Carson (Website | Twitter )
Series: Fire and Thorns #3
Genre: ya fiction, high fantasy
Published by: Greenwillow Books in August 2013

The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.


(spoilers from the previous books)
So when I finished The Crown of Embers I couldn’t keep myself from starting the sequel right away. I rarely ever do this because I’m afraid I’ll get sick of the characters and abandon the book after a while. However I just could not wait any longer and started The Bitter Kingdom after typing my review on the second book.

This third installment is as fast-paced as the other two. TBK is a whirlwind of action and plot twists and I loved every second of reading the book. I expected this to be about Elisa trying to rescue Hector but it’s much more than that. After all she needs to save her country and then some. I liked how versatile the story line was and we didn’t linger on something too long. We also learned a lot more about the world these characters live in. It seems that in this book Rae Carson completed her world building and created one that is so unique but beautiful.

I appreciated the fact that, while Elisa (and most of the others) strongly believes in this certain God, she also has her moments of doubt. I feel like it would’ve been shallow of her if she just kept believing in this God while her prayers weren’t always answered and while there was no explanation as to why God would’ve put that stone in her navel (or in anyone else’s). In this final installment we learn a lot about the culture and the history of this world while there is still loads of political intrigue going on.

Elisa is just so smart. I don’t think I’ve ever read about such a smart main character. I mean she has these brilliant ideas all the time, she outsmarted the strongest magicians of their world and I could keep the list going forever. She’s very admirable and she could be a role model of some sort. She proves that even though she has magic and a title, she only needs her clever thinking to survive.

I really liked the character Red, she’s so cute! She was also incredibly funny. Something I’d like to mention: I laughed out loud a couple of times because some of these characters just made the most hilarious comments on things. I also really grew to like Storm even though he doesn’t have the most likeable personality.

I’ve finished some series recently but none of them had as a sweet ending as this one. I mean a happy end seems to be rare these days but I’m glad the Fire and Thorns trilogy got one. Gosh I’ll just say it… I just LOVE Hector. I didn’t understand why everyone was fangirling over him but I do now. Once you get to know him, he seems to be perfect in any way. Ugh so satisfied with this ending.

I’m so glad I read this series. For once I picked up a non-popular trilogy (I hadn’t heard of it before Goodreads recommended it to me so it wasn’t hyped up and I didn’t have high expectations) and while I had my doubts at first, I persevered and now I’m so over the moon about this series I’m going to recommend it to everyone. The Fire and Thorns trilogy will be a favorite forever and I hope to encourage other people to read it in the future. I’ll also be checking out Rae Carson’s future work without a moment’s hesitation.

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