Monday, September 2, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy, The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

For a recap of essential characters and the top five moments from the previous two books in the trilogy, go to

The Inviernos have captured Hector to lure Elisa to the icy mountains of their country.  Her companions for the rescue mission include Belen, an assassin, Mara, her lady-in-waiting, and Storm, a failed sorcerer and fugitive from Invierne. The four of them "have less than two months to cross the Sierra Sangre, sneak into enemy territory, free Hector, and escape." Failure will result in Hector's death and her country of Joya  d'Arena will fall into civil war. Rebellion has been the plan of Conde Eduardo for a long time. One of Joya's "most powerful and trusted lords", he is also member of the Quorum of Five. He is ruthless in his ambition to divide Elisa's country and claim the throne for himself. Eduardo's men have orders to kill Elisa on sight but the weary travelers are in desperate need of horses in they hope to complete their mission in time.

Can Elisa rescue Hector in time to save her throne and the love of her life? Will Conde Eduardo's rebellion be stopped? What happens when Storm and Elisa help each other tap into their respective Magic? Why do the Inviernos want Elisa in their country? What do they think she can do? Will Hector learn of his betrothal to Elisa? Is Elisa able to meet up with Cosme and her sister Alodia for the council she has called? What happens when Elisa learns that there is a second living bearer of a Godstone? Just how does Elisa's story end; what is her purpose as a bearer of a Godstone?

A thrilling conclusion to a fantastic high fantasy trilogy that is one of my favorites. A definite read!

There are two short novellas that take place before The Girl of Fire and Thorns that go into some background about two beloved characters. The Shattered Mountain tells how Mara escaped from her burning village and came to join the rebels. The King’s Guard tells of how Hector became Alejandro’s trusted friend and an important role he played in the future of Joya  d'Arena.

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