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Anything But Bitter: A Review of Rae Carson’s “The Bitter Kingdom”

Goodreads.com Description: “The champion must not waver. The champion must not fear. The gate of darkness closes. Elisa is a fugitive. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy’s kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history. But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for. Even of those who hate her most.”

My Thoughts:

The Bitter Kingdom was the perfect conclusion to The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy! Rae Carson gave readers an epic adventure complete with action, enduring relationships, and a well-crafted plot.

Queen Lucero-Elisa grew into one of the strongest female protagonists I’ve read thus far. The naive tentative princess became a wise, mature young lady. By this installment, she learned about her own strengths and what things she could do despite being a bearer of the Godstone.

The Lord-Commander Hector was the perfect companion for her. Both characters were like-minded. As Elisa learned to trust, she came to realize that Hector was her strength when she was weak. Talk about a yin-yang relationship.

But, all of Elisa’s relationships were good ones. She made friends with those individuals royalty usually kept as servants. Elisa was fiercely loyal to these friends and would often risk her life for them. She saw the good in people. Sometimes the people weren’t deserving of Her Majesty’s faith, but she always gave them the chance to prove themselves.

Storm, the Invierno prince, turned into an admirable character. Carson did a great job in helping readers like this dark person–he was humane and even humorous at times.

The Bitter Kingdom is a testament to what a person can accomplish with faith–in themselves or in a higher power. I hated the trilogy came to an end, but there were no leftover questions.

I highly recommend the entire trilogy to everyone!

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