Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom
By Rae Carson
Published: August 27, 2013

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.

My review:

I was a little worried that this book would disappoint me the way I've been disappointed with other final books in a series. I shouldn't have worried because The Bitter Kingdom was fantastic. 

Elisa is one of my favorite YA fantasy characters. She has grown so much over the course of the series and she is not a perfect leader but she is brave and intelligent and caring. She also proved that she won't back down from making tough decisions. In The Bitter Kingdom, Elisa is tested to the breaking point but she still believes in herself and keeps going. 

I appreciated the world building of this series and its political intrigue especially. I enjoyed learning more about the Godstones and the history of the Inviernos and Elisa's people. At first the Inviernos appear in the series as one might expect of a stereotypical villain but then in The Crown of Embers, Rae Carson shows readers their humanity through the character of Storm. She further develops that theme of looking beyond surface differences and prejudices in The Bitter Kingdom

I love the respectful relationship between Elisa and Hector that blossomed from friendship to love. I think Hector is a character who is Elisa's equal. It is really sweet when Elisa realizes that he loved her before she lost the weight and became the more confident person she is at the end of the book.

I really like the secondary characters in this series and grew to like Storm in this book. While Mara and Belen are also important to the story, I was disappointed to not see as much of Cosme. It made sense with the plot but I had hoped they would still be close friends.

There is plenty of action as well as the political intrigue though there are times when it is just Elisa and her friends battling the elements in a very harsh journey. It was great to see Elisa show her leadership, courage, and intelligence in this really satisfying conclusion. I will miss this series but I am very glad that it ended well. This is one of my favorite teen series and one of the best teen fantasy series out there at the moment. I can't wait to see what Rae Carson does next.

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher


  1. The beginning of your review had me really nervous for a sec that you hated this even though I was pretty sure that you had loved it. Wasn't it just fantastic? I'm so glad that it ended strong leaving me all sorts of positive feelings and the enthusiasm to recommend it to loads of people!

  2. YAY so glad you loved it, just the encouragement I needed to finish the series off :)

  3. So happy you loved this book! It was even better than I thought it would be.

    Fabulous review :D


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