Review of The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom

by Rae Carson

Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins), 2013. 433 pages.

The Bitter Kingdom is the conclusion to the fantasy trilogy begun with The Girl of Fire and Thorns. In it, Queen Elisa, bearer of the Godstone, really comes into her power.

Now, my biggest peeve against this series is that the first-person present-tense narration makes it feel rather breathless and overwrought. But despite my prejudice, I read and enjoyed the series. The main character, Elisa, learns and grows realistically throughout the series.

You won’t want to read the final volume unless you’ve read and enjoyed the first two. The conclusion is the best of the bunch. It packs a lot of adventure into one volume, beginning when Elisa must rescue the man she loves, continuing with the need to confront the Invierno kingdom, stop an attack on her own country, and stop a civil war.

Meanwhile, Elisa is learning how to harness the power of a living Godstone, and manage friendships and alliances – and make new ones. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say it was about time for Elisa to be happy in romance.

This is an ambitious and imaginative trilogy. I can happily say that the conclusion, The Bitter Kingdom, is satisfying and action-packed.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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