The Bitter Kingdom - Rae Carson
My Rating – 4 ½ Stars

This review contains spoilers about the entire series. If you do not want to be spoiled, please skip
this review, run immediately to your nearest book store /amazon/whatever and read the bastards and read them fast, k?

When we last left Elisa, she destroyed the zafira (a mystical power source for sorcerers), had her right to the throne threatened, learned her country is on the brink of a civil war, dismissed her life-long nurse maid, and watched the man she loves kidnapped before her eyes.

Just another day for Elisa.

She is running with her companions to fight for Hector. (HECTOOORRRR) To save him. (Not that he necessarily needs “saving” considering he’s one badass mofo but yea know. She lurvves him).
She must hide her identity in her own country, since her husband died; her right to the throne has been put into question by those that seek power.

She travels with Belen, Mara (I love the story between Belen and Mara) and Storm and she picks up an extra traveler along the way. Since visiting the zafira, her Godstone has become more active and her powers grow daily. She can summon things she never could before. With Storm, whom has become a loyal companion, she practices with her Godstone as they race across the desert and the mountains to save Hector, and her country.

It’s coming at her from all sides, her own countrymen are against her and so are the Inviernos. Elisa must figure out how to make peace with ancient enemies and in her own country. I must say, she does so wonderfully.

The book is full of action and though a lot of the story is traveling, there is never a dull moment. Elisa is very different from the young, shy girl that was basically sold off for political gain in the first book. She has grown tremendously throughout this series and she is has become a wise Queen and a formidable opponent. She simply cannot be stopped. She won’t allow it. She dives headfirst when she needs to, hangs back when she needs to, and realizes her own mistakes and owns up to them.

And then there’s Hector. *swoon* We get a bit of his point of view, not much just a few chapters now and then but damn son. I LOVE HIM. I WANT MY OWN HECTOR. He is no helpless kidnap victim and though he’s been beaten, frozen, and half-starved his thoughts are of Elisa and her safety. Or if she actually loves him. He plots his own escape if Elisa cannot reach him, or simply doesn’t want to rescue him.

Belen, Mara, and Storm of amazing supporting characters and I couldn’t imagine Elisa traveling with anyone else. Their personalities compliment Elisa’s perfectly and she learns a lot from them. I particularly loved Storm’s character development, but I won’t say anything, don’t want to spoil!

This was an amazing series with a strong female lead. There is action and love and death and magic. Elisa really comes into her own through the series and I feel like she’s an excellent female character for young girls to read.

So if I loved hit book/series so much why did I not give if 5 raving stars? Well…I felt like there were some questions raised in this book that were left unanswered and they didn’t need to be. Like there was a lot of discussion about the actual history between Joyans and Inviernos that was never answered and I would have also liked to read more of an ending for the supporting characters. I know the author is publishing some novellas about the series so *fingers crossed* we get a proper ending for the other characters.

Other than that, I absolutely loved this whole series and recommend to all!

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