I've been avoiding writing the review for this. Not because I didn't like it, and not because I liked it so much, but because I have so many mixed feelings about it. There were parts I loved (Giddon) and parts that frustrated me The character Saf, I didn't like him, and prayed for most of the book that she would not choose him. I also found Bitterblue's complacency and refusal to ask questions of her advisers, or to use her authority to find answers irritating. Perhaps it's the control freak in me? I kept wanting to sit her down and do it for her. This book was so different from Graceling and Fire, for all that they had overlapping characters, political intrigue, and a touch of romance. It built so slowly, often meandering, it reminded me of Bitterblue trying to find her way through a maze of information.