{Review/Autographed Trilogy Giveaway} THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson


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8/19/2013- Ivy Book Bindings- Guest Post
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8/21/2013- A Backwards Story- Review
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Haven't read any/all of the other books in the series yet?
Enter below to WIN THE ENTIRE SERIES!!!

And check out my reviews of 

Look for my review of THE KING'S GUARD soon...I'm procrastinating reading because I'm not ready to be *finished!*
(And yes, I did pre-order... ^^;;)


O P E N I N G   L I N E:

   WE RUN.
   My heels crunch sandy shale as my legs pound a steady rhythm. With every fourth step, I suck a lungful of dry air. My chest burns, my thighs ache, and the little toe of my left foot stings with the agony of a ripped blister. Ahead, BelĂ©n glances over his shoulder to check on the rest of us. His boots and his tunic and even his leather eye patch are tinged brownish orange with the dust of this desert plateau. We've fallen too far behind, and it's my fault. He checks his stride, but I wave him on.
   My companions--an assassin, a lady-in-waiting, and a failed sorcerer--are all more accustomed than I am to travel, and I dare not slow us down.
(pg. 6, US e-book edition)

From desert to snow, Rae Carson has delivered an epic fantasy series that encompasses dangerous terrain and is fully satisfying, gripping, and thrilling. Appropriately named THE BITTER KINGDOM on many levels, picking up the final novel for the first time left a bitter taste in my mouth. This book broke my heart--in all the best ways. Over the course of the series, Rae Carson has gotten better and better. Each book exceeds the last. Even her e-novellas have depth and merit, well worth your $2.99. Carson has become one of my favorite high fantasy authors, and I'm already anticipating a new series by her. I'm devastated that the series has ended; it's like I've lost a cherished best friend. The series ends on a high note, and if you haven't yet made the leap, I envy you. Seriously, I envy you. You get to read these amazing books for the first time. One of my friends is reading the first book now on my suggestion, and it makes me so envious. I seriously want to cry every time I think about the fact that I'm finished this series. I feel so barren without it in my life! Thank goodness for the ability to re-read!

There are spoilers from the end of THE CROWN OF EMBERS in this summary, so if you haven't read it yet, please check out this review instead or of the first book, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.

Elisa has come so far and changed  a great deal over the course of the series. She's gone from being a whiny princess who sits around and eats non-stop without a care in the world to a young queen willing to risk everything in order to protect her loved ones and an entire kingdom. With the way THE CROWN OF EMBERS ended, I thought THE BITTER KINGDOM would revolve around the rescue of Hector, and while it begins that way, it's not the true purpose of the novel. Characters continue to work together and aid one another in ways that make me admire Carson even more, and the plot is richer and fuller than I imagined it could be. Everything comes full circle, and while new questions are raised in unexpected ways (I would love a companion series centuries in the future that pick up on the fruition of Elisa's Purpose), nothing is left hanging. The resolutions are satisfying and make me both happy and sad--happy because the book is just so good, and sad because...this journey is over. I still can't quite comprehend that; I'm pretty sure I'm in withdrawal. I already need to re-read this series and have been sitting on the final novella!

I don't want to give anything about the plot away, but it amazes me to see the way Carson opens up new characters. We explore villains and their motivations. We learn a bit about their culture. We have gone from steaming hot deserts to frigid, snow-capped mountains. The journey is more sparse this time around; you can tell in the lack of food description alone! Elisa and company have endured so much over the course of the series, and will suffer through even more before encountering destiny.

Carson is incredibly gifted at writing. Small decisions become monumental and make you stop and savor/reflect, only to be followed by moments of humor to make the emotions dissipate. She is queen at playing with reader emotions. Elisa is such a strong female role model, and it's great to see a girl kicking butt and saving the guy for once--especially when he's okay with that! So refreshing. And Hector...how I adore Hector. He has to be a favorite of mine. When I re-read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS before reading THE CROWN OF EMBERS for the first time, I saw a hint of something, but I wasn't sure until later in TCOE...much as I was rooting for it to be the case. After everything Elisa has endured, she deserves happiness and true love, and Hector is just right for her. I've even fallen in love with secondary characters from the series, however, and it's like they've all become close friends. You understand what makes them tick and what they care about. This deepens upon reading the e-novellas, though they're not necessary to the main plot. I can't say it enough: Carson is superb at character development.

There's a lot of gushing in this review, and little summary, since there are so many spoilers by now. I apologize. I love this series so much, though, and if you haven't read it or finished (Hey, I wasn't in True Love on my first go-round, either! Just in Serious Like) yet, you owe it to yourself to give the Fire and Thorns Trilogy a genuine chance...especially since you have a chance to win the whole series below!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I can't wait to see this one in person next week! These book covers are always so beautiful, and an online picture just can't do them justice. I love seeing the books shimmer and shine, and all that frosty blue looks delightful!

Plus...it's frosty blue. The scenery for this cover actually reflects important aspects of the book!

I have nothing new to say about these covers that I haven't said before. Gorgeous!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  THE BITTER KINGDOM
Author: Rae Carson
Release Date: Aug. 27, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins
Received: For Review 
SUMMARY:

The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny. 

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.
~*~
Rae Carson is the award-winning author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy. She was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for Fall 2011 and was a finalist for the Morris, Cybils, and Andre Norton Awards. Her first novel was named to ALA's Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults list. 

Rae lives in Ohio with her husband, novelist C.C. Finlay, two stepsons, and two very naughty kitties. She is hard at work on her next trilogy.
Visit Rae on her websiteTwitter, and Facebook!
  
****Giveaway*****

Ready to check out the trilogy?

You have a chance to win the entire series!
In hardcover!
AUTOGRAPHED!!!
(US Only)

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Comments

  1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns was brilliant! I haven't had the chance to read the next book, though. And by the looks of it, The Bitter Kingdom is just as amazing. I'll just have to buy the series and read them all at once!

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  2. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I had the privilege of talking to her, and she was absolutely hilarious and charming. She had one of the funniest anecdotes to say. However, I did not get any books from her signed, sadly. The are, though, at the top of my to-read list. I can't wait to see wait the acclaimed series has to offer! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. I´m a huge fan of this trilogy. Really, Elisa is wise and can teach something to the heroines of other YA books out there. And Hector...well, he´s my favorite :) So excited for this last book

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  4. I love this series and can't wait to finish it with The Bitter Kindgom! Thanks for doing a giveaway!

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  5. I haven't read any of these books yet, but they sound good!

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  6. I've loved the first 2 books in this series and can't wait to read The Bitter Kingdom. Fantastic series!

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  7. I've absolutely loved this series and recommended it to everyone! I can't wait to read The Bitter Kingdom!

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  8. I cannot wait for the end of this brilliant series! And to meet her at YA'LL fest.

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  9. I've heard nothing, but good things about this series. I haven't read it yet but I have the first one and I can't wait to read the entire series when the third comes out.

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  10. I finished the 2nd book last week and hated myself for not waiting until this one was out!! I preordered this so hopefully it gets here on the release date! I will drop everything to read this!!

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  11. I haven't read this series yet, but I've heard nothing but praise for it. I will definitely make it a priority to read it once the third book comes out. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

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  12. I love the first two books in this trilogy, and Hector is one of my favorite male leads EVER. Can't wait for Bitter Kingdom!

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  13. I haven't read any of this series yet, but they are defenately on my list!

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  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! One of my fav YA's of all time!

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  15. I've always wanted to read this series! I've heard such great things, and since the whole trilogy will be out soon, maybe it's time!

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  16. I CANNOT wait for this last book! I've been rereading the first two and oh, I'm both prepared and not prepared for the inevitable heartbreak that's going to come with leaving my Elisa behind! [anguished nerd crying]

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  17. I read the first 2 during the summer and I can't wait to see how the story ends in The Bitter Kingdom!

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  18. I love this series! May be the first series where i love the girl more than the love interest! Elisa kicks major ass! I just love her! One of my fave series!

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  19. Still need to read this series, but I've heard its awesome!

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  20. I read these books and they are fantastic, what I really need now is my own personal copies of these books so that I can cherish them forever! :)

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  21. I can't wait to start on this series. Very excited to finally start.

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  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE the series! Can't wait for Bitter Kingdom to be released!

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  23. I LOVE these books! Crown of Embers was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2012. I can't wait to find out what happens in The Bitter Kingdom! :)

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  24. Wow! These books sound good! On my to read list!!

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  25. I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but I haven't been able to buy the next two because I'm a broke college student. I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THEM!

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  26. I loved the Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa is one of my favorite characters of all time. Absolutely great.

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  27. I love love love this series! It's the one I recommend the most!

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  28. I adore this series so much and I am pretty devastated that it is over. I can't wait to read The Bitter Kingdom!

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  29. I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns and I can't wait to read the next two books in the series! ♥

    Thanks for the ahhh-mazing giveaway! :))

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  30. Frakkin awesome giveaway!! I adore this series.

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  31. Just awesome for Rae to create such wonderful characters and settings and turn it into a page-turning book!

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  32. Thanks for doing this giveaway! I would love to win all three books, since I don't own them. So excited for The Bitter Kingdom!

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