Friday, July 12, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom

Rae Carson is amazing.  In the final installment, The Bitter Kingdom, of Fire and Thorns series, Elisa must rescue Hector so that she can unite the breaking kingdoms together, before her people and everyone else is destroyed.  I do have to say that I can usually finish a book within a few hours, give or take its intensity; however, as intense as this story is I just wanted to be in that world for a few days without saying good bye.  It took me three days to finish 400 fast paced pages, even though I was hooked on every word.  If you love this series, make this final book count!
This journey was exciting, much more than the first two books.  There were never any real lull moments between rescuing Hector, plotting allegiances and bringing down Lords that have committed treason and imprisoned people.  Oh, and who can forget the romances going on?  The world building was overall phenomenal in this series, as well.  Readers, you will not be disappointed! Ms. Carson, can you please do a spin-off series!?!?!?!
The Characters:
Elisa- Is still a strong character.  I think this book shows how much she still needs to grow, and that she is willing to do so.  Of course she has moments that you want to shake her, but thankfully she has trusty friends along for the ride that do not mind letting her know she needs to think outside of herself.  All of her decisions are more than just personal gain and that makes her more noble and reliable as a character.  This is a hard thing to find in YA novels, because the girls in most novels always seem weak and far from being “human.”  Elisa might not understand everything in the world but she observes and takes notice, she is also compassionate and not even to a fault (hence the strong leader role).  The only thing I wish I could do is be her, because frankly I love Hector too much (but we will get to him later—Swoon.)
Mara- Has had to face a lot, especially before this journey.  She is also cast as a strong woman, and it never contradicts with her position in this world, which was a feat in of itself.  It was interesting to see her relationship with Elisa and also her relationship with Belen be fleshed out.  At the end I felt I knew Mara much better, than after the second book, when the reader finds out her story of suffering.
Belen- Is awesome! I love spies and frankly I love in charge people.  Belen is someone you want on your side, even if they have been sketchy before.  In this book he is not sketchy at all, actually he is quite opposite and with the introduction of the slave girl Mula the reader can witness some of his tenderness.  Also, the tenderness that he has towards Mara is so palpable I am surprise none of the characters slapped some sense into Mara.
Storm- Okay, he’s swoon worthy, too.  His honesty and clearness was always needed, I felt, in this story.  A man of integrity, it was hard not to trust him, even if the other characters had doubts.  What I hope is that Carson decides to write another series, a decade afterwards, and bases it on one of the younger characters (Mula? Rosario?) and we can see if Storm is successful with Elisa’s marriage arrangements (not her own personal marriage, but his).
Mula- Is a young slave girl, maybe 9 years old.  After Mara rescues the girl from an abusive master, she becomes one of the gang and teaches Elisa, at least, the full scope of compassion.  She’s a little devil and I hope she becomes a spy like Belen.
Waterfall- Storm’s younger sister is a big help in this adventure and gives a lot of personality to Storm.  It is hard at first to have an opinion on Storm, because we know so little of the person; however, Waterfall certainly gives the readers more to latch on to.
Hector- Oh my goodness.  I don’t think I can coherently say what I want to say about Hector, because I am drooling and starry eyed right now.  He was perfect, everything he did.  I don’t mean to say that he was perfect and no guy out there could compare, because even through all the perfection he was real and solid for both the readers and Elisa.  He also gets his own chapters, which a beautiful way to tie together the narrator/Main Character with him.  I think I have loved him since the moment he appeared in this story and nothing ever discouraged me from thinking he and Elisa belonged together, not even the memory of Humberto or Alejandro. 

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