"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 né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal 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."
The Bitter Kingdom represents the end of this trilogy. It began with The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Then it gets crazy, not to mention insane, by the time we are in The Crown of Embers. We had a kidnapped book boyfriend (What? Hector is kind of hot). Then we had the issue of a possible takeover by some trigger happy (probably not; there is not a single gun in Elisa's world) group of people. Oh! And I forgot about the magic-happy people, who is after revenge on Elisa's kingdom and her sister's kingdom. Isn't that wonderful?
It gets crazier.
The Bitter Kingdom starts off with a bang. Not literally, of course. We see Elisa and her group traveling by foot. They are running towards Hector, to save him from his captors. Then we switch over to Hector's POV and see him trying to escape. He is a bit of a seemingly perfect prisoner while he was with his captors. Of course, he is planning and scheming his way out of their ropes, which are tightly bound on his hands.
If you can't tell the number of POVs in the book, I will tell you. There is only two POVs. Elisa tells the first chapter. Then somewhere later, Hector is telling the story. HIs name will be typed right under the number of the chapter. Whose POV is my favorite? Well, I really like Hector, but I will always enjoy Elisa's thoughts and quick wit. Hmm...I like Elisa more. I can connect to her better on most levels. Hector is too...old? Or mature? Or too manly?
Hector is the second most interesting male character. In my opinion, he has the personality of a brick wall. BTW, most male characters in this book have the personality of a rock. Storm is perhaps the most interesting character. Even though his mind isn't explored, he is perhaps the most interesting. He has ties to his father and ties to Elisa. His struggle between them are obvious. In the end, he chooses Elisa. That is what friendship is for!
The greatest part of The Bitter Kingdom is when Elisa realizes her greatest strength/greatest power. It isn't the power of the Godstone. It is her wit. The journey to self-realization is a powerful scene (although some readers might not see it). Anyway, it is great to see how wonder and flawed her character is, from beginning to end.
The book ends strongly. Of course, I'm not going to say anything. That would be so rude of me if I ruined the book for you.
Overall, I think this trilogy is a great read. It is definitely worth it, even after some small bumps in the road.
Rating: Three Point Five out of Five (rounded to four)