Friday, August 16, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

Release date: August 27, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
It's difficult to say goodbye to characters and worlds you've grown to love. Finishing Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns series was definitely one of the most painful goodbyes I've had to date in my reading life. It's rare that I find a book (or series) that so captures my imagination and makes me desperate to find a way to truly visit that world, and not just in my imagination.

Elisa is a character that you want to know if real life. She's a fiercely loyal friend, caring and loving, intelligent, and selfless. To see her grow from the scared, self-indulgent princess she was in the first book into a ferocious queen in the third is truly marvelous. She knows that stakes are high and that she cannot fail, yet she trudges onward, never giving up herself or those she cares about. She is a most admirable character and among the best I've ever read.

The Bitter Kingdom is everything I hoped and dreamed it would be, even as my heart and mind were taken on a whirlwind journey I could have never expected. There's loss and pain, but there's also redemption, forgiveness, and love. The decisions Elisa must make are difficult and painful, but she makes them out of love; she believes in her people and she believes in the goodness of others, despite all she's seen.

Not only has Rae Carson written one of my favorite heroines ever, but she's created a world, a mythology, a supporting set of characters, a love interest, and an enemy that all form an absolutely fantastic and unforgettable fantasy series. This series is the epitome of YA fantasy.

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