The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
It’s consistent with the others, but icier.
Jacket Copy (May Contain Spoilers):
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.
Nope, this is the last of the series. :_(
Twue Wuv! I’ve already declared–loudly–my undying love for this series. I love Elisa her story so much.
Character Growth! I have loved how Elisa grows as a person and as a leader throughout the series, but this book is when she really comes into her own as a general and queen. She’s amazing, and has really come so far from where she was as a scared, lazy, and self-doubting young princess off to meet her unknown fiance.
Hector! Of course he gets his own special category. I’m sorry for the rather generic Ren Fest picture here, but I just couldn’t find a good example to capture the hotness that is Hector. The author has stated that Hector was the result of trying to write a “good guy” who was still totally sexy. I’d say she succeeded. Hector is the most crushworthy literary character I’ve read in a long time.
Surprise twists! I clearly can’t spoil them for you, but a few things work out in unexpected ways. I love, love, love one of them–let’s just say that this conclusion to a certain matter makes Elisa’s stepping up as queen much more impressive in retrospect.
I love Elisa and her story so much. It’s a detailed and developed high fantasy that is not derivative. It’s a feminist tale of an introverted, unsure girl who becomes a great queen. It’s a lovely, sweet romance. It’s a story of friendships forged through trials. It’s the saga of past cultural clashes beginning to heal. It’s beautiful, and you should read it now.