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Publisher's Summary

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 née 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.

©2013 Rae Carson (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    474
  • 4 Stars
    185
  • 3 Stars
    39
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    4
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    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    468
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    1
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    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    434
  • 4 Stars
    161
  • 3 Stars
    41
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    4
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    1
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good series, but not awesome

The narration was phenomenal! The story was good, but not gripping or really exciting. it did have some good plot twists though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Luis Moreno reads this like Fabio poses for covers

I search out audio books that Jennifer Ikeda narrates. Luis Moreno's narration is horrendous! He's all bluster and arrogance. The story and Jennifer Ikeda's performance are great.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Review of all Trilogy in this one review.

The quick review is this...This book of the trilogy ruined the whole story. In this audio version, for reasons completely beyond comprehension, they added a male voice only to portray Hector. Why?! Not on,y could this man not read well, his lack of talent is glaring when compared to Jennifer Kiera’s great talent. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, but then it seems the author lost interest but had to finish. The publisher or perhaps the author chose to add an unneeded and horrible male voice to further ruin the story. Then for reason only known to the author she chose o put in some of most silly events/actions by the lead overweight teenage virgin heroine to give a chance at escape from certain death and hero rescue. How utterly lame after two previous books having only the lack of a versatile vocabulary as their problems.

Rae Carson chose to use the word ‘belly’ as the only reference to the god stone in her naval. Huh? No information about how or why these ‘humans’ were “dropped from the sky with their machines” mentioned many times. And although it’s not a serious negative in my opinion, but geez...how many times do we need to know the ingredients of a meal, or how hungry the formerly pampered, lazy, teenager is? In book two when she is having to eat next to nothing all the while using her body walking, climbing, running, etc. she only casually mentions how she has lost weight, but NOT a thing about her enormous breasts getting smaller. Then in this book, she back to being ‘large’ with huge boobs again as if she had only lost 5 pounds or something trivial like that. Seriously?!?! I get that it’s a fantasy, but IF it’s truly a fantasy, no one discusses much at all about body functions, hunger, or any other basic human things the add nothing to the plot, characters, or the world in which it’s set. I forced my way through this book just to have listened to it all. Positive note...at least she left out sex scenes, but all the whining and hesitation by her I can understand since she’s clueless, but Hector? What was HE uncertain of after she told him how she felt?? Fierce warrior, but total wimp when it comes to plump, big breasted teenager with a sone in her belly? I hope Ms. Carson’s real life is much more normal being married and living in Arizona.

I’ll try the first book of another series she’s written. I’m returning all three of these since I’ll never listen to them again as much as live to hear Jennifer Ikeda’s voice. Got hooked on her reading from the The Discovery of Witches books which as been mutilated on TV so bad I stopped watching after the second episode.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid End to the Series

I really enjoyed this series and The Bitter Kingdom was a fitting end. There was a great arch with Elisa finding herself and her power from the first book to the last and, most importantly, a pretty realistic interpretation of a young woman and her friends experiencing the devastating and joyous events of the book.

Jennifer Ikeda is a wonderful narrator. She’s a little older and cooler sounding than I think the 17 year old she's portraying should sound, but solid nonetheless. Unfortunately Luis Moreno is one of the worst narrators I’ve ever had the misfortune to listen to. He’s way too wooden in his delivery and there is little to no distinction between the characters' voices - a jarring change from Jennifer Ikeda’s performance.

The storyline is a great end to the series. It’s a culmination of a young woman’s journey from a second born, sheltered, and almost inconsequential princess to a strong, clever ruler who is willing to risk everything to save her kingdom and the world.

I still have a problem with Elisa so consistently and negatively focusing on her former overweight state. It shows up less in this book than the previous two books (because she's lost weight) but when it does it’s potent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect ending for this fabulous series. I would love to read a 20 years down the road book though.

All lose ends are tied up. Most characters get their just desserts. I so enjoyed the addition of Red Sparkle. What a breath of fresh air. She should have a book of her own. Rae Carson has a special talent writing books with strong female characters.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RG
  • 09-15-18

enjoyed the series

I enjoyed the entire series, would have liked to get more from some of the other characters, but overall enjoyed the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely wonderful

It was womderful to watch her transition from an insecure girl to a budding and brave woman able to make her own decisions and make her own way in the world. She Makes it possible to believe that no matter where you start you and I can end strong.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Satisfying happily ever after

A lovely end to the trilogy. The author leaves the world open for revisiting with either the main couple or side characters.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Liked it but not dazzled.

I think this is a good series, commendable to younger readers; liked it as an older reader. Not for its originality but for the packaging a lot of familiar tropes in an engaging way. Good for list-makers - eg, how many images in the tunnel sequence have you seen elsewhere? Pierce's Alanna and Keladry meet a Baggins, with a touch of Campbell's Pillars of Reality, Maas` Court and Elliot's Spiritwalker series. As for narration, Jennifer outperformed Luis.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jennifer is 🔥 but the male narrator, not so much!

I loved Jennifer Ikeda as always but did not like the male narrator since his reading seemed very Steph and almost robotic.