Book Review: The Bitter Kingdom

Book Review: The Bitter KingdomThe Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #3
Published by Greenwillow Books on August 27th 2013
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon

The epic 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

Ever since I finished the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I feel like this has been the series to compare other series against. It literally had everything I could have hoped for. A strong female character. Fantastic setting and back story. Amazing and full of life secondary characters. You want it? You got it with this series. And the best part? No middle book slump. If anything, Rae Carson's writing seemed to get better and better from each book to the next. Heck, I even devoured and adored each of the many novellas, no questions asked. If it had Rae Carson's name on it, I was there.

So, you can imagine my excitement for the final installment. It is going to be epic, right? No doubts here.

Well, at least there wasn't for a good two thirds of the book.

How do I put this?

The Girl of Fire and Thorns and even The Crown of Embers both had an overall bump or motivation for Elisa. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa needed to prove herself and even accept herself. In The Crown of Embers, Elisa was on her own. She had transformed into woman worth her salt in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and was out to prove it to the kingdom. However, in The Bitter Kingdom, Elisa changed tactics a bit, going out to save the man she loves. Yes, there is more to it. The looming enemy and the prophecy and so on. I know I am selling the overall concept short, but that is how it felt to me in a way. With this series, I have come to expect growth from Elisa. It is just a given. However, with The Bitter Kingdom, I felt cheated. While there is some growth, the Elisa I got in the beginning of the book is almost identical to the Elisa at the end… with a few alterations.

Another issue I encountered was just how perfect everything came about towards the end. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but let's just say the prophecy was a bit too neat for me. And I hate to say it, I am not completely sure I understood it either.

Final Verdict:

The Bitter Kingdom was a nice ending to one of my all time favorite series. However, it seemed to go out more with a fizzle than a bang!

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One response to “Book Review: The Bitter Kingdom

  1. Your comments about Elisa's growth are similar to Jen Ryland's when she and I talked about this book; personally I loved it and found it to be my favorite of the trilogy. I guess I just liked following her travel and especially the alternating narration.

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