Dial Books, Hardcover, 9780803734739, 563pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only 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, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
"Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both. Thrillingly imagined and beautifully executed, "Bitterblue" stands as a splendid contribution in long literary tradition."
-New York Times Book Review
"A story that transcends the genre with its emotional and philosophical weight."
-BCCB (starred review)
"Devastating and heartbreaking...those willing to take the risk will--like Bitterblue--achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Readers will gallop through [Bitterblue], eager to catch up on beloved characters and hopeful that the Seven Kingdoms can at last find peace. There are astonishing and sometimes heartbreaking discoveries...Buy all three volumes, in multiple copies."
-VOYA (starred review)
"Cashore's imagined world is brilliantly detailed and brimming with vibrant and dynamic characters."
-School Library Journal (starred review)
"Fans of...intricate political fantasies will relish this novel of palace intrigue."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)