Just to clarify, the rating is between 4 stars to 4.5 stars, just not quite 5 stars yet, I'll explain in my review why :)
Firstly, I just have to express my love for the cover: It is AMAZING!!! I LOVE THE COVER!!! Super super adorable cover :) My favourite one of the Graceling Realm.
It's absolutely fabulous to dive back into the Graceling Realm with Bitterblue.Graceling is one of my favourite, favourite books. I really liked the characters and scenes constructed by Kritin Cashore. Bitterblue is a book which I didn't want to rush through, not because it's boring (ABSOLUTELY NOT!) but because it contains so much that I didn't want to miss anything, and wanted to take it all in. So it did take me about 5 days to finally finish the whole book.
It's great to re-visit so many 'old friends' such as Katsa, Po, Raffin, Giddon etc... and most of of: Bitterblue! This book is told from Bitterblue's persective even though it's written in third-person perspective. Set in 8 years after Graceling, you see a lot more about Bitterblue and the Monsea Kingdom.
The writing was never a minute disappointing, which is another reason why I really enjoyed this book. The author also makes the readers think when reading it by using a lot so puzzles, ciphers and riddles. (I know right, you actually have to think! XP) The ciphers were awesome, I wish I know how to write in ciphers and decode them :D
The plot was interesting and quite different, it had me until after the last sentence in the book.
But this innovative plot and the many inferences/riddles used in the book can get a bit confusing at times. I understand that the central character Bitterblue was confused, so that may attribute to the reader's confusion. But sometime I just felt so fustrated at the confusion that I felt let it down a bit as a whole.
I saw many people's reviews saying that the book is disappointing, contrarily, I didn't share that opinion. What I did think is: it is very unsatisfying! And why is that? Because there are still soooooo many loose ends at the end of this story! The book is VERY unfinished. Frustratingly so. I was reading the last page and felt like: "That's it?! Is she going to write another book? I can't even contact her and ask!"
Kristin Cashore, you HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK continuing the Graceling story (at least Bitterblue's story). It's so unfinished that it's almost a cliffhanger. (But that just might be my opinion?) There better be a third book coming! If there is no 3rd book, the rating might be even lower just because how undone it felt like to me at the end.
All in all, I really liked this book and I loved all the characters. My favourite character is by far still Po. Po is awesome in this book, very adorable and likable. I can go on forever talking about Po. We don't see too much of Katsa but she is still the way I want her to be. Two new character I really come to love is Saf and Teddy. Saf is such a different character that I felt for him somehow, and Teddy is just sweet. Bitterblue really has grown up, I wish her all the best with her future and Kingdom.