The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom - Rae Carson 4.5 StarsA copy was provided through Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for an honest reviewWe have come to the end of the line with this trilogy. Can't really say I'm too sad, not because of it was bad, as my reviews will reflect I have really enjoyed these books, but I'm not sad because the end was satisfying enough that I can accept it and let the characters and their world go.Book endings are always stressful to must of us I think. We are both excited to see how it ends and dreading it because it is the end, but also because, what if it isn't the ending we wanted it? That's a whole other layer of problems right there. Carson did a great job with Bitter Kingdom in this sense. The whole book was both predictable at some points and surprising at others, just the right mix of both, so you aren't left with complete uncertainty but also not lacking that nice feeling of being surprised.This is not to say that I didn't have any issues with it. I did. But they weren't very big ones. There was Alodia for one. I have never liked her since the first book. I don't care that she has done what she has to protect Elisa. I just can't stand the woman and unfortunately she was in this book briefly but long enough for me to get annoyed. She also gets paired up with Storm and I totally wasn't a happy camper about that, but Storm seems to be happy about it and it's not like I didn't see it coming so I had time to deal with it when the decision did come. Still, don't have to like it xDMy other issue is the service to God that Elisa is supposed to do. It was utter crap in my opinion. So damn anticlimactic. I mean she has been doing soo much for her country and then we finally get to her service to God and it turns out that it hasn't been any of the major things she has done or still has to do. No, it was just some random task that had nothing to do with anything for the moment, and I just can't accept that. The characters themselves questioned it, and I understand the whole point but I still don't like it. I would have been fine if maybe there had been some kind of epilogue showing the importance of that one thing that Elisa was tasked to do. That would have been pretty cool. Maybe Carson can write a short story afterwards? *hint hint* ;)Besides those two issues, I loved the rest of the book. There was sneaking around, fighting, death, intrigue, and of course love. Which reminds me! What the hell is wrong with Mara?! Why does she keep refusing Belén?! If the handmaiden thing is what's keeping her back, she is a a coward and an idiot, and worst than Elisa when it comes to love. So much shit they go through and she still refuses!! I just don't get it. Hector was acting all insecure at the start as well, but he got over it quickly enough thanks to Elisa being her usual stern self. I love Elisa :) Love her scheming and planning, how she gets things done, and trusts people when most others wouldn't. She totally kicked ass in this book and not just politically speaking, but literally. I specially liked how she came up with the whole plan with the Inviernos. She doesn't need a knight in shinning armor to come save her all the time. She does it herself perfectly well and it shows through out the whole book. Even when she has Hector she still doesn't under-develop into an incapable person all of a sudden cause she has a guy with her like in so many other books. She is a strong person and queen, both with and without her Godstone.While some might think that everything ended up getting tied in a neat bow, it wasn't completely neat. There was a lot of underhanded things that had to be done to get to where they are. It didn't just magically appear all of a sudden which is why I'm so satisfied with how this trilogy ended. If you are looking for a great YA Fantasy with a strong heroine then don't look any further!