I feel like I should always say up front when I don't like something. So...I really did not like Bitterwood.
It's tough for me because I know most people that don't like something wouldn't take the time to write a review, and would find it maybe even rude to take the time to itemize all the reasons you didn't like something. I hope that my non-spoiler reviews mitigate some of the unintended personal slights that might come from such a thing. But if I'm honest I'm a completionist and I've been working my way through my read column in goodreads and so the next one is the next one.
There's a lot to like about Bitterwood. It's got a great world to work in, where dragons rule over humans in a despotic manner that sets the stage for an interesting grimdark story. But this one falls into the trap that gets most grimdark tales. Bitterwood wallows in violence, gore and despair. There are fun moments, but for the most part they seem to stand out too much because they are islands of levity in a sea of human misery. Any enjoyment you might get from seeing a human hunting Dragon is lost to the overly detailed descriptions of the death that surrounds him. I think that's my primary problem. It's something that I can't get passed because I feel like I'm always flinching for the next unearned tragedy or gory death.
There's a big twist in this book that nicked that last star from the rating I was going to give it. It's the kind of twist that turns your perspective on the world you've been viewing. Sometimes that can be fun. Like when the wizard is revealed to be a funny old man. Then you get a new character from the wizard and his antics make more sense and his reveals of "You were always brave Lion, and you're the smartest one ever scarecrow." make the story you've read before better. In this instance, Bitterwood robs it's story of the fantastic, and like most of the story before it, drags it's fun world back to the mundane. I really wanted to like Biterwood when I first opened its pages, but in the end this book receives one star our of five.