I'm still up in the air, the performance was great but this is a long one and often time slow.
Stringing together Leck's web of lies and truths.
I'm not going to give it away but it's the ending! Hands down!
Sometimes it's not what you hear but what you believe.
They say it's not the destination but the journey, but regarding this book I think it's the destination and not the journey. It was very dragged out, but not boring enough to put me off. I had expected something completely different than what I got. It was one mystery puzzle piece after another, and often an aggravating point (but such a emotions are what makes it a good read/listen when your ready to throw your hands up or want to ring the neck of a character or shout out a truth!) Oh, but the ending was well worth it I could not have imagined a better result. It made the long trek worth it! What a relief to see perseverance rewarded!
After listening to Graceling and Fire, this was amazing. So many things were discovered, the narrator was wonderful, and a female without powers is represented as strong, but human. Definitely read this if you enjoyed the first two.
Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue are all excellent books if you enjoy books that have a twist to life as we know it. The place where all of these books takes place is a world not unlike ours in the Middle Ages, only there is something different about the inhabitants (and even some of the animals). I love the twist and how the cultures and peoples deal with it. Also very strong female characters make it a wonderful read!
Do yourself a favor though and start with Graceling. All the books stand along but build beautifully upon one another.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook. Kristin Cashore writes wonderful stories that are much more thoughtful and insightful than a lot of the young adult fiction out there. The issues being dealt with in this book are serious, but that is one of the things that I like about Cashore and other writers such as Melina Marchetta. These authors take events and issues from the real world, and write about them in a fantasy setting that makes the stories feel timely and even more worthwhile. There is a great deal of mystery in this book, which makes for an involved and lengthy story, but I thought the complexity was great, and kept me wanting to listen to a little more, and then a little more....
Xanthe Elbrick is hands down one of the best narrators I have ever heard. She gives so much personality and life to each character, and differentiates them all to a remarkable degree. I loved Saf, but also loved Teddy and Katsa, and many others.
Bitterblue is another great book by Kristin, and Xanthe brought Bitterblue to life for me! Good listen/read!
The story was good although it was really drawn out. I kept wanting Bitterblue to get a hold of her self and just "make it happen" so it was really annoying that it wasn't until the end that she got herself together. The horrible accents for Poe and Catness were also really annoying. It was an okay book but definitely the weakest of the series
I loved the first two titles in the Graceling series, but this was this first in the series that I listened to rather than read. I enjoyed it so much that I listened to it twice and have decided to purchase the first two titles in audible format to listen to.
There were so many great moments in Bitterblue, but what I really enjoyed about the audio version is that the narrator really helped the listener understand the frustration and anguish Bitterblue suffered while trying to rule her kingdom as a young queen.
I believe this is the first time I listened to Xanthe Elbrick perform. I thought she was wonderful! Not only is her voice pleasant to listen to, it is so regal that it fit the part perfectly.
This book took me through many emotions from happiness to fear. It was fun to hear Bitterblue as a young adult since I last knew her as a small child. The characters from the earlier books seemed more lifelike since I could hear them. Many times throughout the story I was afraid for her life and felt just as betrayed as Bitterblue was betrayed.
This is a story I will listen to over and over. It reminds me of the importance of friends, old and new.
I always wanted to find out what happened to King Arthur after he was corinated as such a young age. This story is the closest I've seen yet. Even though Bitterblue does not have a grace, she still manages to run her kingdom the best she knows how and fixes problems as she learns of them.
There is some major psychological damage to the land after the old mind-controlling king was dispatched. Some of the people are still under his influence and other's don't want information to come to light about what they did during the old king's reign.
Katsa, but she does a mavelous job of portraying all the characters.
Oh yes, but spoilers...
I'd love to see another trilogy in this realm.
This book is a continuation of a series, following on from "Graceling" and its prequel "Fire." I was extremely impressed by the way in which the author dealt with the aftermath of the events in Graceling. Given what had happened prior to the book's opening, the mysteries and problems discovered by Bitterblue in her fractured kingdom, and her gradual search for answers, all felt very authentic and relevant to things that happen in our world too. Though beautifully written and very entertaining, this isn't a simplistic tale in which a young heroine goes from one adventure to another for their own sake; there's real logic, and also a lot of heart and soul, to this story.
One point is that I sometimes see this described as a young adult novel. I suppose other novels read avidly by adults worldwide (Harry Potter comes to mind) are also described in that way, but the subject matter was often quite complex and sometimes very dark, even more so I think than the previous books in the series, and it didn't feel as if it was aimed at young adults in particular. (And it was certainly far, FAR superior to the numerous 'high schooler meets vampire' books filling the young adult shelves ;)
The narrator did a very good job too. The regional British accents (for each kingdom) did take a little getting used to, particularly having listened to a full cast recording of "Graceling" (in which Katsa does not have a brisk Scottish accent and Po is not Irish!) but on balance I think it was a clever choice. Also, all too often anyone heroic and/or a love interest is given a sort of bland 'Oxford' English accent (like Bitterblue's), but Sapphire's accent was north country and I thought it was a welcome change! (Though I could question why his accent wasn't the same as Po's, since they were both Leonid, and why one character from Katsa's kingdom didn't have a Scottish accent... but that's not really important I guess ;) The main point is that the accents were a clever concept, and didn't bother me once I got used to them. I'm from southern England myself and have a terrible ear for accents, so I am probably not the best judge of whether the Scottish accent was perfect or would have driven a Scottish person crazy, etc.... but then again, this is a fantasy set in another world, so I suppose it only matters that they were consistent ;-}