17 year old sorcerer queen Elisa is in a desperate situation, with her country on the brink of civil war and the man she loves having been captured by Inviernos, in order to get her to willingly go to the gate of her enemy. With her friends Storm, Mara and Belen they chase after Hector, hoping to rescue him before they enter Invierne. At the same time Hector is struggling to stay alive in the freezing temperatures while trying to slow down his captors. With both her own people and Inviernos out to kill or use her, will Elisa be able to survive her destiny as the bearer of the Godstone and marry the man she loves, but with Hector not even knowing they are engaged, does Hector want to be with her after she deceived him at the Zafira?
The Bitter Kingdom is the incredible final book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy as it is non-stop action, a romance to die for; incredible characters and world building so realistic you feel like you are actually there. I did feel The Bitter Kingdom could have even been turned into two books with the amount of things that happen in this book. This led to some things being rushed especially the ending as it happened to quickly; also I felt Carson focused too much on the group travelling and too little on when they actually got to their destinations. This book could have been a bit less predictable as I felt there were no real shocks like there was in Fire and Thorns when Humberto died, I thought Carson was brave to do something that unexpected in her first book and I was hoping for something more astonishing in this book.
I love how much Elisa has grown as a person over this series from the timid, shy person who comfort ate and was kept hidden from her destiny, to a strong and confident leader, who makes mistakes but learns from them. Hector is the perfect leading male and I love that we get his point of view in this book as we get to see how loyal, brave and honourable he is, and how much of a perfect match he is for Elisa as, while she is queen, it is a truly equal relationship with them both relying on each other. What I love about their romance in this book is that while there is sexual tension between them there are also simple things like what they say and do, that show that they truly are meant for each other. I really like all the people in this book, good, bad and neutral as the characters are well written and you can understand their motives, but my favourite character is Mara as she is one of the few people who does not want anything from Elisa which makes her a perfect best friend.
I love this series and I am not sure I am willing to say good bye to this world as, while Elisa’s story is over, I feel like there is more to discover. I would recommend The Bitter Kingdom to people who have enjoyed the rest of the series and I would recommend the Fire and Thorns trilogy to everyone who likes fantasy novels.