Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 471 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Book; 1st edition (October 1st 2008)
Source: Purchased from Book Depository
First Sentence: “In these dungeons the darkness is complete, but Katsa has a map in her mind.”
Favorite Line from the Book: “I know you don’t want this, Katsa. But I can’t help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I’m afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you’ll… oh, I don’t know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me,” he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. “I love you,” he said. “You’re more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be. And I’ve made you cry; and there I’ll stop.”
Book Summary: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Okay, so where should I begin? I badly wanted to get this book after reading Fire, its companion novel. I looked everywhere for this, but since it has been published years ago, it’s not available here in Manila anymore. I then looked for it in BookDepository where they have worldwide shipping. When the book finally arrived, I am in awe of the book cover. The cover looks bold, with the sword and all, and yet it also has a look of softness in it. The cover was able to reflect the entirety of the story.
During the fist few chapters of the book, I struggled reading it as I felt that it was rather slow moving. But after a hundred pages or so, I finally got hooked and couldn’t put the book down even though I knew I should already be sleeping. I liked how the author formed the characters. I instantly fell in love with Po and started understanding Katsa. What I really loved about this book is how Katsa learned self acceptance, how Po overcame the tragedy which fell on him, how Bitterblue fought hard to survive, and how Katsa and Po accepted each other’s shortcomings and points of views. Although this is set in a whole new world so foreign to us, the author was able to inject these components flawlessly.
I will definitely re-read Fire and excitedly anticipating the release of Bitterblue in September.