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Cover image for Bitterblue
Uniform Title:
Bitterblue. Spanish
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Barcelona : Roca Editorial, 2012.
Physical Description:
501 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
Sequel to: Graceling.

Traduccion de = Translation of: Bitterblue.
Eighteen-year-old Bitterblue, queen of Monsea, realizes her heavy responsibility and the futility of relying on advisors who surround her with lies as she tries to help her people to heal from the thirty-five-year spell cast by her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities.


Call Number

On Order



Ocho años después de que la conociéramos en Graceling, nos reencontramos con Gravilla, ahora convertida en la reina Bitterblue de Monsea. Bitterblue es una monarca misericordiosa, pero no puede librarse de la influencia nefasta que su padre tuvo en ella e

Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Eight years after the death of her despotic father, King Leck, 18-year-old Queen Bitterblue is still struggling to bring healing and peace to her people of Monsea. Leck was a Graceling-able to make everyone forget their pain-allowing him to control and torture all Monseans. Helped by her ever-loyal cousin Prince Po and Graceling Katsa, Bitterblue is beginning to ask more questions about how her country is run than her advisers and judges would like. Befriending rebel truthseekers such as Teddy and Graceling Sapphire puts Bitterblue in tremendous danger as she hunts for answers to why her citizens are not being taught to read and how those looking for reparations from Leck's crimes seem to be systematically killed. Bitterblue herself is attacked several times in an attempt to stop her inquiries. The dramatic unveiling of who is behind all the violence finally gives Bitterblue a sad but honest understanding of her reign. A romance simmers between Saph and Bitterblue, but at the heart of this novel is how atrocities of the past can be handled with care and compassion in the future. Xanthe Elbrick's narration is powerful, with each major character having a distinct and memorable voice. This high fantasy is a masterly weaving of adventure, mystery, and romance. VERDICT Highly recommended for fantasy fans. ["The believable maturation of Bitterblue's character is worthy of praise": SLJ 5/12 review of the Dial book.]-Suzanne Dix, The Seven Hills School, Cincinnati © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

When last seen, Bitterblue had been crowned queen of Monsea, after Katsa, the heroine of Graceling, killed her father, King Leck. (He had it coming.) Eight years have passed; Bitterblue, now 18, is in power, even as her counselors have attempted to sweep the wretched perversity of Leck's reign under the rug. Bitterblue objects-not only because she thinks she needs to understand that history in order to lead but because she feels constrained by busy work that keeps her trapped in the castle. Spirited and frustrated, she dons a disguise, sneaks out, and quickly befriends a printer and a handsome thief. Complications, naturally, ensue. Her romance and growth into the role of queen are among the best parts of this sprawling story, which brings forward (but does not entirely resolve) plot strands from both Graceling and Fire. There are many pleasures-fans will welcome the return of Katsa and her lover, Po; Bitterblue's court includes Death (rhymes with teeth), a dour librarian graced with the ability to read fast and remember every word. Once the narrative shifts from Bitterblue's clandestine adventures in the city to her convalescence inside the castle, the story loses some steam, even as the sick nature of Leck's abuses are unearthed. Nonetheless, devotees of the earlier books and fans of Megan Whalen Turner's intricate political fantasies will relish this novel of palace intrigue. Ages 14-up. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

This Graceling (rev. 11/08) sequel picks up eight years after Katsa killed King Leck, making his daughter Bitterblue queen of Monsea. Bitterblue is now eighteen, bogged down with royal paperwork and terrible memories of her father, feeling disconnected from her country and people. In disguise, she sneaks out at night to observe city life, and a friendship with two thieves causes her to reevaluate everything shes been told and whom she can trust. Seeking out the truth amidst the spies, lies, and ciphers, Bitterblue uses clues discovered in her own castle and, with help from faithful friends, uncovers a dangerous web of secrets and silencing of "truthseekers" intended to hide the extent of Lecks atrocities. Although a promising spark develops between Bitterblue and the thief Saf, the novel disappointingly downplays their romance once Bitterblue concentrates on rebuilding her kingdom. While Cashores sophisticated prose propels the plot, the complexity of this weighty tome -- doubts planted about characters motives; frequent, detailed use of ciphers -- is at times overwhelming, if necessary for Cashores readers to relate to Bitterblues struggles. Cashore also brings back many familiar plot points and characters from Graceling and Fire (rev. 9/09), including Katsa, Po, Giddon, and Fire, but still makes a new volume about this fantastical world its own distinct story. While the lackluster conclusion doesnt equal Cashores meticulous buildup, the believable maturation of Bitterblues character is worthy of praise. Maps and a character list (all unseen) will be appended. cynthia k. ritter (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Building on the plots and themes of the award-winning Graceling (2008) and its companion Fire (2009), this rich and poignant fantasy grapples with the messy aftermath of destroying an evil overlord. Nine years after Bitterblue took the crown, the young queen and her realm are still struggling to come to terms with the monstrous legacy of her father, the insane, mind-controlling Leck. How can she "look forward," as her advisors urge, when she cannot trust her memories of the past? Sneaking out of her castle, Bitterblue discovers that her people have not healed as much as she has been told. While "truthseekers" are determined to restore what Leck destroyed, others are willing to kill to keep their secrets hidden. Gorgeous, textured prose is filled with images of strange beauty and restrained horror. It propels an intricate narrative dense with subplots and rich in characters familiar and new. Weaving them together are all the lies: conspiracies and ciphers, fakes and false testimony, spies and thieves, disguises and deceptions, mazes and puzzles. They are lies spun from greed, shame, strategy, fear, duty--even kindness. And it is Bitterblue who, trapped in this net of deceit, must draw upon all her courage, cleverness and ferocious compassion to reveal the truth--and to care for those it shatters. Devastating and heartbreaking, this will be a disappointment for readers looking for a conventional happy ending. But those willing to take the risk will--like Bitterblue--achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning. (Fantasy. 14 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Bitterblue, who appeared as a child in Graceling (2008), comes into her own as a woman and a queen, looking beyond her advisors and secretly exploring her city in order to discover her purpose as ruler. Years after the violent acts initiated by her father, the past still haunts his victims and taints those forced to carry out his sadistic orders. Working blindly and unsure who to trust, Bitterblue tries to uncover her father's darkest secrets and heal the still-festering wounds he created. Meanwhile, troubles are brewing outside her country's borders and within her castle walls. Though the novel could be read on its own, it will be more fully understood by readers of Graceling and Fire (2009), as some characters from those books have roles here as well. Readers drawn to Cashore's novels by the strong, complex protagonists, their love stories, and their adventures will find similar elements here. Bitterblue is a strong-willed yet vulnerable character, but her love story and adventures are overshadowed by the painfully slow revelations of old secrets, ongoing deceptions, and malicious intrigues. Still, a must-read title for Cashore's many fans. HIGH-DEMAND BACK STORY: With publicity that ranges from an author tour to a dedicated website, to promotion at Comic-Con International, this will get plenty of attention.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

By Her Majesty's Grace Kristin Cashores teenage queen struggles through a fog of secrets in this companion to 'Graceling' and Fire'. BITTERBLUE By Kristin Cashore. Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr. 563pp. Dial Books. $19.99. (Young adult; ages 14 and up) CONFESSION: I am such a fan of Kristin Cashore's first two novels, "Graceling" and "Fire," that over the past three years, I've returned many times to her author Web site to find out when I could get my hands on her latest, "Bitterblue," which plays sequel and companion to the first two. Finally, I got my copy. And I wasn't disappointed. Like "Graceling," "Bitterblue" takes piace in the Seven Kingdoms, where Queen Bitterblue rules over the realm of Monsea. To this landscape of castles, villages and mountains, Cashore adds a wild element: from time to time, people are born with a "Grace," a superhuman skill that can take any form, from sword fighting to weather foretelling to bread baking. As the stark first line of Chapter 1 makes plain ("Queen Bitterblue never meant to tell so many people so many lies"), this is a novel about the search for truth. Bitterblue ascended the throne of Monsea when she was only 10 years old, and now, eight years later, she begins to struggle in earnest to find her way through the fog of secrets in which she lives - the nature of the terrible depravity of her dead father, Leck; the condition of her kingdom and her subjects; the true identities of her companions; the ciphers she must recognize and solve. (The ciphers in "Bitterblue" are marvelous.) Cashore is a master of mystery, suspense and revelation, and among the many gratifications of "Bitterblue" is its slow, astonishing unwinding of the truth. In fact, there are so many twists and turns, secret identities and subtle details that my second reading was even more absorbing than the first. There's also the book's strong romantic thread. Bitterblue falls in love for the first time, and - as is the wont of queens in tales - she does so most unsuitably. Here, as in the companion novels, Cashore handles sexuality in unexpected ways. While a backdrop of lords and ladies, dagger fights and silk gowns leads the reader to expect certain attitudes, the novels confound these expectations. Cashore's three books don't form a conventional trilogy, but instead portray interlocking but not sequential events that take place over a 50-year span. But while "Bitterblue" works as a novel on its own, readers familiar with "Graceling" and "Fire" will certainly enjoy a far richer experience. The main characters' fates interweave throughout in a hugely satisfying way, each book shedding light on the other two. And each of the three relates a quest: the protagonist carries a birthright that's both her glory and her burden, and she must accept her power and learn to use it rightly. In "Graceling," Katsa must take responsibility for the deadly Grace that gives her superhuman fighting ability; in "Fire," a young woman named Fire, the only monster in the Dells who is also human, must determine the appropriate limits of her mind-numbing influence over others. Bitterblue's power is less fantastical, but no less real. Not even 20 years old, she rules as the absolute monarch of Monsea, and she must accept the painful obligations of her station. ONE of the great pleasures of reading a work of high fantasy is to see much-loved elements combined and yet made new again. For reasons no one has satisfactorily explained, there are some stories that run very deep in human nature, that have an enduring appeal that grows with each retelling. The hero with the untamed power. The journey to the cave of bones. Healing dreams, mazes; rings of identity. Cashore creates a mesmerizing world of evil kings, hidden passageways, fathers and princesses in disguise, wars fought on horseback. In her hands, all these feel utterly fresh and captivating. Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both. Thrillingly imagined and beautifully executed, "Bitterblue" stands as a splendid contribution in a long literary tradition. Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including "The Happiness Project," Her next book, "Happier at Home," will be published in September.