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Bitterblue

Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, Book 3
Narrated by: Emma Powell
Series: Graceling, Book 3
Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

Non-member price: $37.98

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Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited companion to the New York Times best sellers Graceling and Fire is finally here!

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue and her country were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised, and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the 35-year long spell of a madman.

Now, their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past - whatever that past holds. Two thieves, who have sworn only to 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, who possess an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart.

©2012 Kristin Cashore (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible." ( School Journal)
"A WOW of a book. I HAD to know how it ended" (Tamora Pierce)
"Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious" ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Why do all female fantasy heroines have to be sexually assaulted?

I was enjoying this book until it became about sexual assault...again. I’m a rape survivor, I love the fantasy genre and try to read female writer’s work because they generally write stronger, more rounded female characters. But it’s a nightmare because even female writers seem to feel the only way a woman character can be brought low and built back up again is through sexual abuse. It’s cheap and easy and thoughtless writing and it causes your readers emotional damage. Please be inventive instead of this awful scenario again and again. I’m so disappointed and still having panic attacks thanks to lazy plot writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Written Story

If you liked Kristin Cashores other books, you will love this one. A bit longer than the others, but it's needed for the amount of stories it tells. A bit slow to start, but once it gets going you wont be able to stop listening, and trying to figure out what's really going on. I absolutely loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Rich and enthralling. It was easy to get lost in!

Complex issues, explored simply through stories and the characters' experiences. Cashore creates beautiful, whole characters, and a rich, gritty, diverse story world. The narrative jumps around a little, but comes together nicely, and serves as a device to further support the effects of events on the characters. Mentally stimulating, emotionally engaging, and altogether enthralling.

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Good book hard to download

What disappointed you about Bitterblue?

It was a good book. A bit long though.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Either Teddy because he was so friendly and encouraging or Saff because ge was interesting and had a lot of depth although he was quite annoying he was very sensitive.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It had good story.

Any additional comments?

Audible made this a very difficult process because i had already bought the book with 1 credit but it did not download onto my books even after I refreshed it. I would suggest making books easier/possible to purchase in the audible app on IPhones. This happened to me with another book as well. Please make it easier to download and purchase the book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rick
  • 12-06-2013

Best of the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy

What did you love best about Bitterblue?

The plot

Any additional comments?

This is easily my favourite of the trilogy. The first was action and a love story, the second was a love story with a bit of action, but this - this is adventure, intrigue, mystery, a love story (lets face it, it wouldn't be Kristen Cashore without a love story), and includes the most realistic response by fictional characters to trauma that I have read. It also has the longest denouement of any book I've ever read, with the story going on long after the climax. Overall the voice acting of the reader was terrific also, adding greatly to the experience. If you liked either of the first two books, you'll love this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-08-2018

Nothing really happend

After enjoying the two first books i expected to like this one aswell. The book ties the two worlds together in a good way, but I feel that there is a lack of action, drama and also romance.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshina
  • 04-09-2014

Good for insomniacs

What did you like best about Bitterblue? What did you like least?

The start of the book was pretty good, I felt like I kept reading this book to find out more about Bitterblue's father and just to read about Katsa and Po too. It just seemed that the answers to questions were not given away easily and the ending was a bit odd and unexpected.

Did Emma Powell do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

She did voices for different characters

Did Bitterblue inspire you to do anything?

Not really... Bitterblue, the main character just didn't really do much other than wonder around the castle towards the second half of the book

Any additional comments?

The first half of the book was great, afterwards it just went downhill and took me a very long time to finish

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Moonglotexas
  • 12-09-2013

Awesome...just way too short?!

What made the experience of listening to Bitterblue the most enjoyable?

Bitterblue is a culmination, it is the result of the two previous books, with SO much more. I loved it from beginning to end, just wished it hadn't ended at such a critical point! I literally played the last chapter twice, to be sure there was no more! And then hopped online to see if book 4 was in the works (it may be, though it is unconfirmed!)

Any additional comments?

It is slower and more mentally (less war) orientated, political and relationship orientated. I loved it!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joycinta
  • 06-01-2013

Loved it.

Any additional comments?

I thought the concept of re-building the broken kingdom was brilliantly executed. Though the second book did feel a little tacked onto the series and lacked a strong connection to the trilogy its presence in this book was still a pleasant one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannah
  • 07-12-2012

fell asleep

Would you try another book from Kristin Cashore and/or Emma Powell?

Yes to the author, no to the reader. I went Graceling read by different people and it was amazing. It was only because I loved Graceling I forced myself to keep listening.

Would you be willing to try another one of Emma Powell’s performances?

Although I was disappointed by Bitterblue, I would definitely read another of her books. She has a true way of drawing in a reader, no matter the age.

Was Bitterblue worth the listening time?

to be honest, I'm not sure if it was the reader or the book but I did fall asleep alot unlike with Graceling. By the end, I was annoyed at the time I wasted waiting for the end just to be disappointed.

Any additional comments?

The storyline in Bitterblue getting mid way into the book was a let down. Strong start and weak ending. Though Bitterblue herself was a well written character, her supporting characters fell behind. I think having Po return in this book saved it.

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  • Annette
  • 08-07-2013

Amazing!

What made the experience of listening to Bitterblue the most enjoyable?

It was great to see characters from the two previous novels once more, especially Katsa and Po. How do I feel about Cashore’s characters? Attached, as in I seriously hope she reconsiders the ‘trilogy’ idea and produces a fourth book, attached.
I really liked Bitterblue; she’s smart, kind, queenly and brave. I kept pausing to underline passages while reading. Saf was a wonderful ‘hero’ (he was PERFECT) and I am praying for a ‘five years later’ novella to appear one day.

Each book was better than the last… The fact that all three novels had endings to suit their characters, not characters to suit their endings, was a both a source of satisfaction and disappointment.

What does Emma Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Po's accent, omg, she made me melt! I wish this was a REAL accent!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca R
  • 28-05-2013

Seriously good...

I cannot say strongly enough how much I enjoyed reading this book, and what a relief. I'd just completed the Hunger Games series and needed another to stem the disappointment I'd completed them. Bitterblue was just what I needed, when I needed it. Within two week I'd listened to all three books in the series. This is defiantly my favourite of the three, I found the twists surprising and at no point did I guess what was coming. Well done Kristin Cashore. Are we likely to get a fourth book?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nadina Vasileva
  • 15-03-2013

A worthy closure to a great series

This wonderful series opened the door to a fantastic new world full of marvelous adventures. Perhaps Bitterblue did not quite sweep me off my feet the way Graceling did, but I enjoyed its more contemplative tone and thoughtful heroine. This story was built much more as a mystery compared to Graceling and Fire and certainly made you want to listen to it in one sitting. I will enjoy listening to this series again and I will keep revisiting this beautiful new world!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • laura parker
  • 09-06-2019

good but bad ending

the ending was a disappointment there was no closure on the characters hoping for a follow up

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Warn
  • 28-02-2019

Awesome listen!

Book 3 is a great end to the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy. Book 1 and Book 3 being excellent with book 2 being a tad boring. This book and indeed the entire trilogy is very well narrated and the main characters extremely likeable. After reading book 2 and being disappointed for it was not as exciting has the first book I was hesitant whether I'd listen to the books again. After listening to book 3 I have decided I definitely would. Kristin Cashore is an excellent writer and Emma Powell a superb narrator.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sara crane
  • 07-06-2018

Good book but poor ending

I’m gutted the end of a three book story ended so blandly , a complete let down.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-09-2017

highly enjoyable, liked this one lots.

This book was my favourite of the series. Plot summary, young queen inherits kingdom in disarray from her psychotic father. She stumbles across deadly secrets a decade old and one question leads to another. tension builds, the malice of her father is palpable. schemes against her instigated by unknown but powerful sources spread their tendrils ever closer to her. And, in neighbouring countries, monarchies are falling. Who can she trust, what is really going on, and will she survive it all. The story is well read too. more please.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 15-05-2017

One of my favourites.

Where does Bitterblue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is one of my favourite books. The whole series is amazing, but this one just have that something extra.

What did you like best about this story?

It's hard to say...I feel like I like the way Bitterblue sneaks out at night and pretends to be just an ordinary person..and the way the author describes the different characters and the whole atmosphere of the novel. It feels very cozy listening to it.

What three words best describe Emma Powell’s performance?

Clear, full of emotion and good voicing.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it did not make me cry, but I smiled so often and I felt worry as soon something happened and I felt like part of the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice Thomson
  • 05-05-2017

Intriguing discoveries and surprizes

If you could sum up Bitterblue in three words, what would they be?

Unexpected, twists and revelations

What did you like best about this story?

I love the way Bitterblue's character emerges from a princess and a child, really, to mature into a adult character by discovering how protected her life has been and how much more there is to know about being a good monarch. The humbling journey she undertakes as a person is truly lovely to follow although it comes a t a high personal cost to her, She really has to watch all the lovely veils of her life be ripped away to be replaced by harsh truths and bitter betrayal, before she can build something amazing and solid from those ashes.

Which character – as performed by Emma Powell – was your favourite?

I do like the way Emma narrates the Katsa character. even if the character is only a supportive role in this book, it is so recognisable when she enters and speaks and thinks, there is just that extra bite to her narration which I think Emma does wonderfully

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Bitterblue - the dawn of truth

Any additional comments?

I think the story line if this book is the best out of the three in the series as it is a bit darker and delves into the twisted mind of people with extreme power and tainted souls. Than nightmare of what if really evil people got their hands on some really devastating weapons and became untouchable. I think this book makes you hate the evil character with such a passion as they just don't have any compassion and no regard for anyone else but their own pleasure and the way they keep affecting people even after they are gone.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 24-10-2015

Irritating protagonist, bad writing

This story was really hard to listen to, because the protagonist, Bitterblue, is implausibly stupid. I couldn't finish. Awful decision after awful decision which didn't make sense in-universe. It's not a well plotted story at all. The voice actor is very good however.
I wouldn't recommend

1 of 2 people found this review helpful