tbkThe Bitter Kingdom (Fire & Thorns #3) by Rae Carson
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Edelweiss/ALA 2013
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy.

Hnnnggggg. Gguuhhhhh. What are words? I have none. This series…I love it so much. It is simply amazing. Rae Carson is THE BEST. And now that I’ve read the whole series, I want it back! I want to experience it all from the beginning again, like RIGHT NOW. It took me so long to be able to write a coherent review after I read this, because I loved this series so much. I didn’t give this one five stars, because I felt like the conflict at the beginning was solved too easily, but the summary isn’t wrong. This story is a deeply satisfying ending to the trilogy. I’m not sure I have ever felt more content with the end of a story before. Carson is so good at describing characters’ feelings, and the things Hector says to Elisa can be so heartbreaking, but I loved it. I loved that the power imbalance was addressed, I loved that they wrapped up the Godstone story… I loved almost everything about this one.

Elisa has learned to be strong, but she still needs to learn to lead, and by the end of the novel, she is indisputably a leader. She makes hard choices that she knows her friends won’t like, and she tries to make allies of those who have hated each other for centuries. It’s so hard not to spoil anything from the previous two books, but I have to say that I really liked how Elisa made mistakes, that people got hurt because of her, and how she couldn’t save everyone. And Hector. OMG. I just don’t even know what to say. They are one of my favorite couples to ever read about. Their story is just so awesome, and Hector is so sweet. Honestly, I didn’t realize Hector would be the love interest in the rest of the series, but the choice is perfect. This series is probably one of the best YA fantasies ever, and I can’t recommend it enough. This series is so worth your time, and don’t forget to check out Carson’s short stories set in Elisa’s world! Thanks so much, Rae Carson, for this beautiful half-coming of age, half-romantic series!