In the wake of Leck's evil reign and demise, Bitterblue inherits the throne of Monsea. She has to try to help her country recover from the evil wrought by Leck. But how can she do that when her advisors keep her stuck in a tower office, signing papers and listening to court cases all day? Bitterblue decides to sneak out of the castle and see her country for herself. Thus begins a long, complicated story full of crosses and counter-crosses, spies, intrigue, coded messages, hidden passages, etc. etc. As Bitterblue begins to understand the full depth of Leck's madness and evilness, she wonders if she'll ever get her kingdom back on its feet.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the ciphers and the cleverness of the characters in leaving them in all the places they did. I loved the librarian. Bitterblue grows on me throughout the book. I found myself rooting for all of Monsea to recover from Leck's treachery.
This book demands a huge time investment, but it's well worth it.