Friday, September 20, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom

Well, I'm still recovering from my tonsillectomy. I've been so doped up on pain meds that I took a lot of naps, and my eyes couldn't focus on words for the first three days. I really hoped I'd get a lot of reading/work done during my recovery, but that didn't turn out to be the case. The upside? I still have five days till classes start, and I'm moved into my new home. I have free time galore for the next few days, and I'm already taking advantage of it. First on the list: finish my summer reading project. Which I actually did, this morning! I'll have a special post on it tomorrow, because today is about telling you about The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Elisa, Queen of Joya d'Arena, sorcerer, bearer of a godstone, is on a mission to free the man she loves from the country who has hated her people since they first appeared. Her country is on the brink of civil war, and she is being lured to the gate of darkness. She and her companions must travel into enemy territory to save Hector, and unwrap the secrets of the prophecy surrounding Elisa's godstone. The discoveries they make could unravel the world around them into chaos, or secure it with peace.

I like Carson's work. Reading her notes on the first book in this series, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she really wanted to present a good body image to girls. Elisa is beautiful, but she is not thin, and she has flaws. And she is smart, very smart. There is also the concept of loving more than one person, but in different ways, without it devolving into a love V. Elisa loved Humberto in the first book, even sort of loved her husband from her arranged marriage, and now she loves Hector. But the reader is not made to think her fickle or silly for this. It is different kinds of love, and love which she chooses for herself. I found it very refreshing. Even though the initial premise of this story is romance in saving Hector, most of the time it takes a back seat to Elisa's political scheming and getting through dangerous scrapes. I also liked this. The romance was not thrown in willy nilly because there seems to always be a romance these days. It was part of the story, but not the main part. Were parts of this book slow? Yes. Were there parts where I wondered why it had to be added? Yes. But honestly, I loved Elisa's character, which is loving and confused and always always searching for answers. Kudos, Carson.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: Crown of Midnight

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