This book opens up eight years after Graceling. Bitterblue is Queen of Monsea, busy with trying to lead her kingdom in the wake of her sadistic father’s rule. While she trusts her group of advisers, she is starting to realize that she doesn’t know much about her kingdom or her people at all. This leads to her sneaking out at night and witnessing the deteriorating villages that surround her castle, which her advisers had carefully kept quiet about. Bitterblue slowly starts uncovering secrets and exposing lies, but it all just makes things more confusing: Why is no one in her kingdom taught to read? What is causing everyone around her to act irrational and crazy? How will she discover all of her father’s horrific secrets in time to save her kingdom? The lead characters in Graceling and Fire make appearances to assist the brave Queen, but is the web her father wove too thick and deadly to be undone?
This is considered a sequel to Graceling and definitely worth reading if you loved the other two books in this series. Fantasy enthusiasts will get wrapped up in the kingdom details, and mystery lovers will try desperately to figure things out before Bitterblue does.