Friendly warning: There are spoilers for Graceling ahead.
In a world where a small percentage of people have an extreme skill called a Grace, King Leck’s Grace allowed him to tell lies that everyone believed. When Bitterblue became queen at ten years old, she thought her father’s death meant the end of his violent, sociopathic influence. But she was wrong; there are still dark secrets left to uncover. Now eighteen and believing her advisers are overprotecting her, Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle at night to walk the streets of her own city, disguised and alone — risking her life as well as her heart — in pursuit of her kingdom’s truths.
Published in 2012, Bitterblue is a New York Times bestseller, a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, and a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book.
“Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both. Thrillingly imagined and beautifully executed, Bitterblue stands as a splendid contribution in long literary tradition.” — The New York Times Book Review
“Gorgeous, textured prose is filled with images of strange beauty and restrained horror. It propels an intricate narrative dense with subplots and rich in characters familiar and new. Weaving them together are all the lies: conspiracies and ciphers, fakes and false testimony, spies and thieves, disguises and deceptions, mazes and puzzles… And it is Bitterblue who, trapped in this net of deceit, must draw upon all her courage, cleverness and ferocious compassion to reveal the truth—and to care for those it shatters. Devastating and heartbreaking… those willing to take the risk will — like Bitterblue — achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A story that transcends the genre with its emotional and philosophical weight.” — BCCB