Bitterblue

After I finished Graceling, I really wanted to know more about Leks. In Fire, he showed up, even if it felt really weird and not really core to the story. Here… we actually start to get just how twisted he really was.

Bitterblue takes place roughly a decade after Graceling (and around 50 years after Fire), following the story of now ~20 year old Queen Bitterblue as she tries to untangle the absolute mess her father had made of the kingdom. Add into that a bit of a princess exploring her kingdom as a commoner trope, a bit of a romance subplot, and a sprinkling of


Fire

Fire is something of a bizarre ‘sequel’. It’s actually set chronologically before Graceling. For the most part, it’s set in a different part of the world, separated from the previously known seven kingdoms by an (almost) impassible mountain range. And with one exception–that honestly doesn’t make that much sense–there are no characters shared between the two books. Honestly, this joins the list of books that would have been much better had they not been marketed as a sequel or even being explicitly in the same world.

There are some odd choices in the book that I don’t really understand.


Graceling

I enjoyed Graceling more than I actually expected to. It starts out slowly and ends a bit abruptly, but there was something about it that kept me going right to the end.

Plotwise, the story starts with main character Katsa kicking ass as a sort of enforcer for the King. She’s not thrilled with the idea, but what choice does she have? Halfway through the story, she meets Po and ends up running off to what feels like a completely different plotline (although to be fair, they are tangentially related by way of Po’s grandfather. They end up on the run from Mad King Bad Guy, cross some mountains… and then the story sort of ends. It’s not a terrible story, but I felt like it was a bit light at times and tended to drop things without warning.