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The Mystical and the Magical

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Bitterblue - Ian Schoenherr, Kristin Cashore 3.5 stars. Okay, ummm ... How should I sum this book up? Compared to GRACELING and FIRE, this is definitely my least favorite out of all of them. That doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't like it (I didn't didn't like it [? xD]), but just that if I compare the feelings I felt with this book to the feelings I felt with the other two that came before it, this one doesn't match.

I liked the book. There. I said it. I liked it--I didn't love it. I loved Graceling and I loved Fire, but I don't love this one. First of all, the pages. This book is extremely long! It doesn't need to be this long at all. I know Cashore probably didn't want to sum up the whole book in a few measly 300 pages (my copy was nearly 600 pages) but most of the time I found myself skipping most of the paragraphs. A lot of things didn't happen for the majority of the book; Bitterblue sat and thought and drove me crazy with all her ... uh ... conclusions. Let's just say that Bitterblue thinks a lot.

Another thing that bothered me about it was, even though the book was so long, there was not really much of any action in it. I guess that's why I loved GRACELING the best out of the whole GRACELING REALM series--it had the romantic action I always crave for in YA literature. FIRE was eh, I guess--I enjoyed it definitely but it was kind of a disappointment compared to GRACELING. And then BITTERBLUE came along, with the hopes and dreams of my Katsa and Po and Bitterblue's awesomesauce Queenliness.

And it crushed them.

Well, not really. I just put that there for dramatic effect. ;D

But it was pretty disappointing. I was expecting more of Potsa-ness, but there wasn't really any; there was a lot of Po, though, as a sidekick helper to Bitterblue. And while I knew this was Bitterblue's story, I was hoping that Po and Katsa would be the lead supporting roles for her, even when Cashore said they'd be minor characters. Which I understand since she wanted this as Bitterblue's story and adding the previous, most lovable characters would leave the book astray?

But the good thing and the part that I really loved was how she joined all three books together. I admit, I wasn't really expecting it; I was expecting Katsa and Po, but definitely not Fire. And how she weaved them together with the situation was pretty plausible! And Fire! Oh my goodness, Fire, an old lady. Pretty awesomesauce there, if you ask me.

Annnd we find out more about Leck and his experiments. The only thing I find weird about it was the timing; they decided to start digging into his records eight years after the end of his rule? Normally I would expect people to do it straight away. But I guess they had to do it when Bitterblue was old enough, and old enough was, I guess, at eighteen.

There were lots of sadness in this book--and a death of a character that I really liked. It made me absolutely sad and I was happy to see how Cashore created the grieve within Bitterblue! Again, pretty realistic. But even now, I really miss that character. And it's pretty much contradictory since I've forgotten the name of him, anyway. xD

Conclusion: Pretty disappointing. But loved how all the books weaved together in this finale, and loved the realistic elements that were incorporated. Romance ... was weird. But overall, an OK book to an end series.