The Bitter KingdomWritten by Rae Carson
(Greenwillow Books - 5/27/2013)Series: Fire and Thorns #3
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC (448 pages)
Source: Library of Magan Bagan
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.
Rae Carson has done it again. Even though I’m sad it’s over, The Bitter Kingdom is a strong ending to the Fire and Thorns series. It has all of the elements I’ve come to love and expect from this series, with a few surprises thrown in, too!
The story picked up close to where it left off in The Crown of Embers, which made it easy to get right back into the action with Elisa and company. A nice surprise, however, was the inclusion of some chapters from Hector’s point of view as well. I really liked this, especially after just having read the Hector novella: The King’s Guard.
My favorite parts were the newest addition to the cast, the dark and (quite literally) foreign kingdom of Invierne, and the continuing growth and maturity of Elisa as a woman and as a ruler. We got to see everyone at their best — and also perhaps at their worst — and this was a very satisfying element to this series conclusion.
The pace didn’t seem consistent throughout the entire book, though, and that may be my biggest complaint. Some parts dragged on for a long time, and then others felt that they wrapped up way too quickly. I honestly could have read another 100+ pages more of just the events that unfolded near the end of the book. There were also a couple of decisions Elisa made that didn’t seem characteristic of her, but I’m still not sure how to take those.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would gladly read more about these people and this world. If you haven’t read the Fire and Thorns series yet — what are you waiting for?!