Graceling, Bitterblue, and Fire: by Kristen Cashore


Hi everyone! Ash here, and this time I’m reviewing a whole series! This is the Graceling series, by Kristen Cashore, and it’s just amazing! I’m going to review the books separately, because although it makes more sense if you read them in order, you can read them out of order.


This is a wonderful, 9-pen book that tells the story of Katsa, a girl whose eyes are two different colors. She is a Graceling, someone who has an extreme skill. This skill could be anything, from being an amazing cook to being able to jump really high. In all but one kingdom, as soon as a Gracelings’ eyes set, they are the property of the king. Sometimes, the king may give the family their child back–for instance, if their Grace is to lick their eye with their tongue. However, most Gracelings are kept, and they work in the palace, for the king.

Katsa is the king’s niece, so she should be able to live a life of privelege, but since she has been able to kill a person with her bare hands since she was eight–she’s Graced with killing, of all things–she must work as the king’s thug.

When Katsa first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat, Katsa thinks life will continue as it always has–in fear of the king, her uncle. She never thinks she will become friends with Po, or even fight him for fun. She never expects to learn a new truth about her Grace. And she never expects to learn a frightening truth about a terrible secret that lies hidden, deep beneath treachery in the middle of the peaceful kingdom of Monsea.


This is another great 9-pen book, taking place in the same world as Graceling, but not the same kingdoms.

In the Dells, there are things known as monsters–normal animals in dazzling colors with an unusual bloodthirstiness. For example, a brown bear is a bear, but a green bear is a monster.

Fire is a human monster, and she can touch others minds as well as read them and change their thoughts, if they aren’t guarded against her and other monsters. Fire has fire-red hair–hence her name–and is literally irresistibly beautiful. She lives a life of apology for her father’s, a ruthless monster who hurt others for pleasure.

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells, for young King Nash and his brother Brigan are trying to protect their kingdom against rebel lords to the north and south who are building up armies in an attempt to unseat him. War is coming, and it is no longer safe for Fire, for strange men with blank minds keep appearing in the forest to try and hurt her.

This book has a whole new cast of characters from Graceling save one–and that one is dangerous.


Another amazing 9-pen book!

Centered eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now the queen of Monsea. However, the damage and influence of her father, a “violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities,” (–couldn’t have said it any better!) lives on. Her advisors, who have been running things since Leck’s death, believe that they should pardon all who committed terrible acts under his reign and forget anything bad ever happened. But Bitterblue knows bad things happened, and so does everyone else.

Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle at night–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of the city, her city, she starts realizing that the kingdom she now calls herself Queen over has been under the 35-year spell of a lunatic, and revisiting the past is the only way to move forward.

Two thieves, who steal only what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold the key to the truth of Leck’s reign, which Bitterblue desperately wants. And one, with a Grace that he doesn’t yet know, holds the key to her heart.

With the help of her two friends, she discovers horrible truths about Leck, who is dead, and close friends, who are alive. The whole story is a mystery–who can she trust, and who is holding back the truth?

Hope you like!

~ Ash


3 responses »

  1. I’ve read Graceling and I’m about halfway through Fire, and I have to say, this is a fabulously written review! Great job!

  2. Pingback: Book Review: “Fire” | The Cheap Reader

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