Book description:Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart. (taken from Goodreads)
Objectionable:Bitterblue sleeps with Saf, mention of other characters sleeping together, Bitterblue has some fascination with Saf's body after (nothing really "shown"), gay characters briefly mentioned, Graces (powers and skills), monsters, sadistic torturing (past), several attacks, injuries, death, and some language. I'm not sure how much because I was recording it differently back when I read this book so I can't say for sure. I know it had at least in between a 1 or 2 though.
Thoughts:First off I liked Graceling tons. It was very well written and I felt like I could see what was happening really well. It was exciting and really good apart from a sex scene :/ Fire wasn't as good or I didn't connect with it as much. It was interesting though. Both books had great plots and were very exciting. So I wasn't sure what Bitterblue would be like. Fire is set in another world and kinda before Graceling, if I remember correctly. So I was interested in getting back to Graceling's world. So I get Bitterblue and read it. 563 pages. Big book. With a very exciting and thrilling plot that had me staying up late to finish the book because I had to know what would happen! The excitement was there but not as much as the other books. The plot was more mysterious and it drew you in. Very complex too.
However despite how engaging the plot was the book felt dark. Possibly because of the evil deeds Leck had done. Possibly because it was a little depressing. Either way there was something that kept me from connecting and loving it. The romance was alright and wasn't a main part of the story. The characters were alright and I liked several of them. And then the whole tying in with what happened in Fire and Graceling happened at the end was beautiful...I really liked that. Overall I mainly enjoyed the plot and discovering how it all tied together. The rest not so much :/ It was an okay book and definitely and interesting one. I probably liked this one second best after Graceling. I would recommend to 15+ girls who enjoy fantasy.
Characters:There were several characters that stood out to me. Like Teddy, Po, Katsa, the librarian and I think a maid/spy. I wouldn't say that Bitterblue was my favorite although I did like her. Overall I think that the characters were done nicely and there were some that were done very well.
Cover:The keys do come up and I like the blue shades :)