The champion must not waver. The champion must not fear. The gate of darkness closes.
Elisa is a fugitive.
Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.
Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa ne Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three companions deep into the enemy's kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.
But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.
Even of those who hate her most.
Beth says 5 Stars...
This series hits perfectly in my sweet spot of epic high fantasy. I adore the complexity of the universe, with the intense mythology, religious overtones, and games of power and politics. The Bitter Kingdom delivers on the promises of the other novels in the series, and then throws some more epicness on top of it just because it can. The pacing is pitch perfect; the action flows from one event to another without ever seeming rushed or boring. Moreover, the plot progress actually makes sense with the characters and their motivations. There's a logic to how everything unfolds that I thoroughly appreciated. Another joy of reading these books is Carson's writing; it's so enrapturing. I found myself sneaking a few pages in wherever I could because I didn't want to stop reading. The only issue I had with the book was that I wanted more! I do really wish that more of the history of Invierne had been included because the glimpses Carson provided into their culture were utterly fascinating.
The characters are beyond wonderfully written. All of them have layers that Carson exposes throughout the novel and the relationships between them are equally nuanced. Elisa grew by leaps and bounds from the beginning of the series to the end, starting as a naive, reasonably incompetent princess and becoming a strong and resourceful ruler. What's done so well is that you can see, in retrospect, that Elisa had those qualities in her and they were merely revealed by hardship, change, and allowing her a chance to explore herself. Another thing that's totally wonderful is the friendship between Elisa and Storm. There's love there, but it's completely platonic; no love triangles here (thank goodness). Unfortunately, it's rare to see a non-romantic or antagonistic relationship between a male and female character. Another smart thing about the book was how Carson didn't introduce a ton of new characters at the end. We meet a few new individuals, but they're all necessary to the plot and actually add to the story.
If you haven't read this series I'm not sure what I can do for you besides suggest you pick up Girl of Fire and Thorns and barricade yourself in a room for the rest of the day. Then, surface to pick up the rest of the series and devour them like I did.
book from library
We are more than happy to review YA novels, however we prefer either physical copies or e-books via Netgalley or Edelweiss. If you would like us to review a book please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.