Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Pages: 433
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: April 14, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (#1), 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 né 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."

The Crown of Embers left readers on the edge of their seats and that's pretty much how things start in this concluding novel. Elisa is on a mission to reclaim her throne and find Hector, whom her enemies have captured.  Elisa has one thing going for her: her Godstone.  Along with her loyal friends, they venture into her enemy's kingdom to rescue Hector, that is if he is still alive!  Many adventures await her while she is on this journey and of course, there's a ton of magic. Rae Carson's final book in The Fire and Thorns trilogy, The Bitter Kingdom, is a superb ending to what is a fantastic fantasy series.

Elisa has grown so much since The Girl of Fire and Thorns. At first, I wasn't so sure about her. She complained about her body, drowned herself in carbohydrates, and really sort of hated herself. As the series progressed, I started to really love her. She is smart, loyal, determined, and did I mention smart? I love that Elisa is bookish and doesn't just rely on her Godstone and magic to get her out of situations, but also relies on her smarts.  Needless to say, Elisa really grew on me as the series evolved and in The Bitter Kingdom I loved her even more.

I was a fan of Hector since the get-go, so I was all about Elisa finding him in The Bitter Kingdom. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat, because Carson has killed off some important characters in her other books! Nonetheless, Elisa and Hector's relationship is one of the best aspects of the series. I love how it has evolved from a friendship to something more. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Hector is completely swoon worthy; fans of Hector won't be disappointed in The Bitter Kingdom.

Carson has done such a great job with this series; fans of fantasy will relish in her world-building, the characters, the magic, and the many adventures. Although I felt The Bitter Kingdom was a little slow at times, unlike the other novels in the series, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  I highly recommend this series to fans of young adult fantasy. It's definitely going down as one of my favorites.


  1. I haven't read this series yet, but it sounds like a well-conceptualized world.

    Lovely review, Christina.

    1. It's a really great YA fantasy series. If you like high fantasy with a smart heroine, you should definitely check it out. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. Elisa's growth throughout the trilogy is one of my favorite aspects to these books. It's nice to see a character grow and evolve!

    Hector! *swoons*

    So happy you enjoyed this one! Lovely review :)

    1. I agree, Lea. I remember how much you liked this series, so thanks for the recommendation. I agree. Hector is pretty much perfection. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I loved this series and I'm glad you did too! I loved the characters, world building, and magic. I liked how Elisa had a gift for military strategy and I thought she was a really good leader once she stopped doubting herself.

    1. I agree, Christina! The world building was fantastic. Really well done unlike some other fantasies I am reading lately. Thanks for your recommendation to read this series! I loved it. :) Thanks for dropping by.


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