I was pretty interested in reading this companion book to Graceling because I really enjoyed the characters in Graceling. Fire was a little tougher for me to read because of the similarities and the fact that the plot moved a little slower. As I think about the book, I'd have to say it's more of a character study. Fire had internal issues to resolve and that seemed to be the more driving force of the book. I am a little concerned about Katsa and Fire as strong female characters. There seems to be a pattern between Cashore's characters and I'd love to see it change in Bitterblue. Both have these perceptions of being a monster and don't want to have children but in the end they accept the reason they are different and find positions of helping people. They are noble struggles but I'd like to see something different.