The epic and deeply satisfying 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.
This is the perfect conclusion to an amazing series. There is just as much adventure and conflict in The Bitter Kingdom as there was in previous novels. I was hoping that Carson was going to cut Elisa and Hector a break at some point. I literally tried to put this book down multiple times but every time I did something epic would happen. Epic is probably the best word I could use to describe this book because everything about it is EPIC. The characters, the plot, the world building and the ending…it is all perfectly epic. There were twists I wasn’t expecting as well as plenty of moments that left me with my jaw open.
Elisa is one of my favorite heroines in all of YA. She is strong, selfless and loyal which in return makes her a great queen. She is not perfect which kind of makes her perfect. I realize that doesn’t make sense but she is so not cliché and I think there needs to be more of that in YA. Any doubt the reader could have about her choices are answered by actions as well as internal and external dialogue to make it clear that she is her kingdoms’ Queen and she will do whatever is in her power to protect them and keep them safe. Also? She does not allow herself to be the damsel in distress. There are so many points in not only The Bitter Kingdom but the series that many would just give up and wait to be rescued. Not Elisa. Hector makes a comment at one point saying that she should allow him to rescue her because duh, that’s why he’s here!
Now that I am on the topic of Hector…I totally want my own personal Hector. He shares many characteristics with Elisa but he also has a great amount of patience that comes in handy. One of his greatest struggles throughout the novel is whether or not he wants to fully give himself over to Elisa because he knows how independent she is.
On top of these two great characters there is a whole team of talented support characters (some veterans as well as some new). Each character has his or her purpose to the story and it never felt like there were being forced into Elisa or Hector’s journey.
I am completely satisfied with this ending and cannot wait to see what other epic journeys Carson has up her sleeve!