Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
This book can be summed up in one word: confusion. I had no idea what was going on or exactly what was being hidden from Bitterblue for most of the novel. There are so many secrets and lies left over from Bitterblue's father's reign that it affects her reign as well. Bitterblue herself has no idea why things in her kingdom seem so weird so she decides to find out what's really going on. Bitterblue is an interesting character who doesn't seem to be particularly assertive yet there's something about her that makes you root for her anyway. Bitterblue is intelligent and does have inner strength but it takes a lot of events for her to discover this about herself. The one thing I did not like about this novel is that it is complicated to the point that it is overly so. There isn't a lot of action, its more of a mystery filled with political intrigue type of book. The ending is exciting when you see exactly what is really going on in Bitterblue's kingdom and all the truths that are uncovered. I would recommend reading this if you want to conclude the Graceling series but make sure you read the first two beforehand.