Jul 21, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson Review

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
(Fire and Thorns, #3)
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 435 pages
The epic and deeply satisfying 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. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy.

If you have NOT read The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers please read with caution. There are some spoilers that were unavoidable. Proceed with caution . . .

 Bitter is right. Bittersweet. Endings to series always are. Most of the time, they're satisfying but it means it's all over. No more adventures with these characters we've come to love; no more journeying through this world that Rae Carson has created for us; no more watching Elisa growing up to amazing woman she is today. Bittersweet. But perfect.

I loved, absolutely loved the fact that we got to read some of this story from Hector's point of view. We saw what he went through while he was captured, how brilliant his mind really is and also how much he thought of Elisa. He tried so hard not to think of her because it made everything worse but when you love someone you can't help but think about them; especially during dark times. But it's Hector and I think I literally squealed when I got to that first chapter from his point of view.

This book was just filled with so much awesome, so much adventure and I have to tell you; if you look at the Elisa we first met in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and then look at the Elisa we see as we say goodbye you're probably scratching your head wondering how they're the same person. I know I am. It just blows me away how much her character has changed and matured over her difficult journey.

OH! One thing I loved about this book that I didn't really see in Crown of Embers was her thinking about Humberto. There's a lot of him mentioned in this book and it warms my heart to know that he's still fresh in her mind. Yeah, I love Hector, I really do but I loved Humberto, too and I was deeply saddened about his fate in the first book.

I would never want to be Queen or any sort of ruler. The amount of responsibility you have would just be too overwhelming. The difficult decisions Elisa has to make throughout this book would make me want to jump off a building and leave it to someone else. I know, very selfish of me but I just don't have the capability of doing it. So mad respect to Elisa for that. Especially when it comes to her sister. Her sister is one I'm still not the biggest fan of (though after reading her novella I have more respect for) and there's so much left between them that when they meet toward the end of this book, it's hard to read. You feel for Elisa especially when they discuss their father.

One of my favorite scenes in this book was when Elisa told Hector that she had announced their engagement. His response was just perfect. I just can't tell you how much I love these two, as a couple and as a team. I really don't know of many other couples in YA that I love as much as these two. That's saying a lot with how many books I've read and how many couples I do like. But these two are just so powerful, honest and perfect.

If you're reading this review I'm hoping it's because you've read the other books because if you haven't then I'm sorry. I gave you fair warning. If you've read the other two books then this is obviously a book you must read. It's a perfect ending to a perfect trilogy. Still saddened that it's over but overall, I'm happy with the ending. Like they say, all good things must come to an end. This is also another one of those books where I loved too much that words escaped me.

Thank you to Harper/Greenwillow Books for allowing me to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

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