Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

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.

Title: The Bitter Kingdom
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Bought
Format: hardback
Series: Yes

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This is the third, and final, book in one of my favourite series this year. I only came across it when, after finishing Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, the first book popped up in my Amazon recommendations. I was having serious withdrawals from Siege and Storm and needed another fantasy book, so I downloaded The Girl of Fire and Thorns to my kindle app. I loved it so much and immediately downloaded the second book, The Crown of Embers. This also had me fangirling so hard so I tried to download The Bitter Kingdom only to find out it didn’t release for another month! After and excruciating month of waiting I bought the book and dove in head first.

I’ve waited a week since finishing this book to write a review and yet I still don’t really know what to think. I enjoyed it certainly, but it was not the ending I was expecting. To be honest I have no idea what I was actually expecting it just wasn’t this. The ending, for me, was far too neat. It was all wrapped up in a pretty bow and I’m not really a fan of that.

However the book as a whole was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I couldn’t put it down and finished it within two days. There weren’t any major characters in this book that were not present in the previous book. However there wasn’t any further character development over the previous book either. The characters did not have any growth over the course of this book whatsoever. However it can probably be argued that all necessary character growth had had happened in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers.

There was also no development in the romance department either. We knew all of the details of the romances in this book from earlier on in the series with nothing new being added in this book.

As I write this review I think I’m starting to realise why I did not love this book. It seemed as though it was simply a carry on from The Crown of Embers, and not in the way a third book following a second should be. It simply felt like the second and third book had been one book and was simply split down the middle. I personally prefer books that are distinctive from one another.

The pacing in the book was very fast paced and led to me being unable to put the book down. I was kept on the edge of my seat as I wondered whether Elisa and the others would be able to get themselves out of each terrible situation they found themselves in.

While I’m not sure whether I would recommend this book, I would definitely recommend the series as a whole for fans of fantasy and adventure.

Have you read the Fire and Thorns series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

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