This was the sequel to Graceling in which Katsa (my ultimate heroine) rescued the then very young princess Bitterblue from her murderous and tyrannical father King Leck. By then I was hoping that this young princess will grow up to be the majestic and strong young queen of Monsea when Katsa managed to disposed of King Leck. Alas this book left quite a bitter taste and subdue me blue after I've finished reading it. Bitterblue has certainly grown up but was left with an empire that is filled with more lies and deceit and an even greater betrayal long after her father was killed. What was left was a broken kingdom ran with even more broken subjects.
A struggling queen overwhelmed with paper works when what she longs for are the truths of her father's reign and what is exactly happening to her people outside the castle. But what she doesn't realize that there are people who will go to any lengths to stop the truths from ever coming out and have it silenced forever.
There were some chapters that was dragging and I thought I'd lose interest. I was happy that there was a reappearance of Katsa and Po this two were such major support to Queen Bitterblue when she was at her lowest moments. There was a possibility of a love interest but I knew even then that was doom from the start and so I was not surprise when Bitterblue at the end have to sacrifice what her heart wants for she knew that she has a greater responsibility to uphold to her throne and to her people. In time I think I grew to sympathize Bitterblue when the odds kept stocking against her and it seems she is running out of time to protect the people she cares about and at the same time seek out the perpetrators. I just didn't like that the setting was only confined in the Monsea kingdom. Nothing so grave happened to Bitteblue except for about three attempts to her life but she always have someone to rescue her immediately. She rarely was able to make use of her skill with her knife that Katsa tought her. At the end there was an appearance of a character from the book Fire and if you have read that book then you know who I mean.
For me this is more like a story of the personal journey of Bitterblue as a young queen and the revelation of the real truth of her own administration. Not so much of a kickass and badass Queen Bitterblue that I was expecting *sigh* so you can understand why I was bitter and rather blue about this one :(