I really didn't like this book. The premise really had me intrigued and I have read all three books because I found ONE character (Bitterblue) worth reading about. This book feels half-finished. I'm not kidding. A lot of the names in this book feel like placeholders for the real thing before revisions are made. The world building is great for one of the kingdoms in this world but is basically non-existent anywhere else. There are no languages, customs etc. anywhere except again, only one place (I'm not counting Fire just yet). Katsa is a really difficult character to like and you get smothered with everything the author wants you to get out of this book. It's a lot of telling, not showing. The ending frustrated me the most. The villain is supposed to be so dangerous and threatening with his ability (a genuinely scary ability) that it was just unbelievable how easy it was for Katsa to take him out.
The treatment of horses in this book is also deplorable.
This book gets some stars for Bitterblue. She is by far the most interesting character and ends up getting her own book. That was literally the only thing that got me to get through finishing Graceling and reading through Fire.