BITTERBLUE! After reading Graceling, I could not wait to read Bitterblue, which takes place eight years after Graceling. I did read Fire before starting Bitterblue, but it’s not a necessity to read it prior to digging in to Bitterblue. Where Bitterblue is the sequel to Graceling, Bitterblue is the a companion novel to Fire. The plus side to reading Fire first was that I got more insight on the time of Leck, before he became king, and information on the Dells and Pikkia.I absolutely, unequivocally, whole heartedly loved this book! It was everything I had hoped it would be. At eighteen years of age, Bitterblue, a young queen since the age of ten, is still trying to learn what needs to be done to rule her kingdom or Monsea, and to clean up the painful memories left during the terrifying reign of her dead father, King Leck.Wanting to learn more about her kingdom first hand, Bitterblue decides to wander the streets of her Bitterblue City. She chances upon Story Rooms, where someone is on stage telling a story. The stories differ from Story Room to Story Room, but a lot of the stories revolve around her father and the friends she is surrounded by (Katsa, Prince Po, etc.). It is in one of these Story Rooms that Bitterblue meets Saf, a thief and ruffian, and his friend Teddy. It is upon this chance encounter where the “simple” life that Bitterblue has known all her life is about to be changed forever.What did I love the most about this book? Well…everything! But what I really loved was being able to read about Po, Katsa, and Giddon again! Ahhhhh! Although I’m sure that Saf is suppose to be the crushable male lead in this book, my toss-up was between Po and Giddon. I crushed oh Po like crazy in Graceling, but Giddon was unbelievably sexy to me in Bitterblue. He seemed more vulnerable and sweet, and absolutely swoon worthy.This book was totally full of unsuspecting twists and turns. I was left guessing up to the near end who was responsible for the various attacks and murders that was happening to Bitterblue and her friends. Once I had my mind dead set on who the responsible person(s) was, the next page would completely throw me off and have me guessing all over again. Where in Fire we learn about Leck before his reign as king, in Bitterblue, we read more about the horrors that happened during his reign. We also see the dire consequences of such acts, and how it completely affects those around Bitterblue, whom she is to trust, as well as how it affected the people in her kingdom.Action packed and the return of characters that we have grown to love, Bitterblue will not disappoint any fans of Graceling and Fire. This book had me gasping, wide eyed, and yearning for more.