Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback
Source: won an ARC from a giveaway on Epic Reads

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.

Wow. I… I don’t even know what to write. Where to start. I really don’t think I can do this book justice. Well, I can at least say that I l o v e this book with all of my heart. The Fire and Thorns series is one of my absolute favorites, if not my very favorite fantasy series of all time. I am completely in love with this series. And I am so very happy with this last book in the trilogy. Oh and I just want to give a humungous THANK YOU to Epic Reads for the ARC! Totally squealed when I found out I won 🙂

So I had been dying to read this book ever since I finished The Crown of Embers, since CoE ends with a wicked cliffhanger. But not only that, I fell completely head-over-heels in love with the series, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final book. The fantasy world-building is absolutely divine. It’s so well created, so fleshed out, that it feels like a real world to me. And I just love the Spanish influence Rae Carson has put in the world building (and I’m so grateful that I took Spanish classes in school!). I’m sure I’m pronouncing some names and words wrong, but whatever! The world where Elisa and Hector and Mara and Belén and Storm live in is so incredibly well written, so alive, it’s like its own character.

Elisa is a badass. She is one fantastic heroine. I love that she changes so much throughout the entire series, starting from an insecure, nervous girl, to one who reaches her full potential. She’s the damn queen of her kingdom, for christ’s sake, and she’s only 17! If there’s any heroine I would look up to, it would be Elisa, and I admire her inner strength, her intelligence, her independence, and basically everything about her because she’s amazing! I have a total girl crush on her. Throughout the entire book, she proves to everyone that she is fully capable of leading her kingdom, that she has what it takes to rule firmly, but compassionately. She doesn’t take anything for granted, and she values her life, the lives of those she loves, and the lives of those who live in her kingdom. And every time she comes up with an idea (which are always so epic and badass), I’m just like, You go, Elisa. Show ’em who’s boss queen. And at the heart of the series, I love that Elisa shows that you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to, if you give it all your effort. You don’t need to rely on outside forces to do what you want, because you have always had the capacity to accomplish what you want inside of you. And Elisa proves that even though she has the Godstone, she doesn’t always need its help to accomplish a goal.

It was a huge, lovely surprise when I started reading, and all of a sudden, there were chapters in HECTOR’S POV. I was so shocked, but excited, because Hector is the. b e s t. The BEST. He is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. His love for Elisa shines through clearly, but doesn’t completely overcome everything else about him. His love for Elisa, his queen, and his quiet strength, loyalty, and dedication to his kingdom are so beautiful and inspiring.

“I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little.”

Both Hector and Elisa are independent people, and if they were to lose one another, it would devastate them, but they would survive and move on. And I love this. They have an epic love, but it’s not the be-all end-all for them. But basically, what I’m trying to say is that Elisa and Hector are perfect. Separately and together.

Every part of The Bitter Kingdom is intense. Rae Carson goes all out in the final book and holds nothing back. I was frightened for the characters one moment, and laughing the next. The secondary characters are incredibly well done, and I was surprised by how much I came to care for Storm, and by how much I was rooting for Mara and Belén. This book made my heart go absolutely crazy. It would be pounding because of some intense scene where someone is almost killed, or it would be melting because of some sweet words Hector says. I just wanted everyone to stay alive and survive through their journey, but the author is obviously a sadist (NO I’M KIDDING I LOVE YOU RAE CARSON!), because these characters do not have their journey cut out for them. Rescuing Hector, fighting Inviernos, killing nasty scorpions, Elisa and the gang are put up against so many things, but they never give up. AND I LOVE THEM SO FREAKING MUCH.

I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s epic. If you love fantasy, you’ll love the Fire and Thorns series. Even if fantasy’s not your thing, I’m pretty sure this series can change your mind about that. Love love love this series so much, but I’m so sad that the trilogy is over, even though I loved every bit of how it ended.

5 massive hearts.

Reading Order: Fire and Thorns series

The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson The Shattered Mountain by Rae Carson The King's Guard by Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

#0.5 ~ The Shadow Cats: Ebook • Goodreads
#0.6 ~ The Shattered Mountain: Ebook • Goodreads
#0.7 ~ The Kind’s Guard: Ebook • Goodreads
#1 ~ The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Crown of Embers: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Bitter Kingdom: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads

3 thoughts on “Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

  1. Pingback: Review: Between Two Thorns | A World of Books

  2. Pingback: The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson | Review |Katie's Book Blog

  3. Pingback: Book Review: “The Bitter Kingdom” | The Cheap Reader

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