Bitterblue, p.47
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       Bitterblue, p.47

         Part #3 of Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore

  Thanks to my first round of readers, Catherine Cashore, Dorothy Cashore, and Sarah Prineas; and to my second round of readers, Deborah Kaplan, JD Paul, and Rebecca Rabinowitz. Your help has been invaluable and your generosity overwhelms me.

  A note to anyone reading the acknowledgments before reading the book: The rest of the acknowledgments are full of Bitterblue spoilers. You've been warned!

  Thanks to linguist Dr. Lance Nathan, who created both my beautiful Dellian alphabet and a Dellian language that could conceivably have developed in isolation from the same protolanguage "Gracelingian" developed from. Lance also helped by doing the initial ciphering of Leck's text for me. (Cipher enthusiasts will recognize the Vigenère ciphering method I chose for Leck's journals.) Lance also helped me get my head around how to navigate mazes (along with Deborah Kaplan) and how to tell time on a fifteen-hour watch, so thanks for that, as well!

  Thanks to former physicist JD Paul, who answered an endless stream of questions about Po and optics so that I could determine whether Po was likely to be able to discern color or know when it's night or day. Thanks to Rebecca Rabinowitz and Deborah Kaplan, who, after reading a late draft of Bitterblue, counseled me on the matter of Po, disability politics, and whether there was any way to counter the consequences of my making Po's Grace grow so big that it compensated for his blindness at the end of Graceling. (I was not thinking about disability politics back then. It didn't occur to me, until it was too late, that I had disabled Po, then given him a magical cure for his disability—thus implying that he couldn't be a whole person and also be disabled. I now understand that the magical cure trope is all too common in F/SF writing and is disrespectful to people with disabilities. My failings here are all my own.)

  Thanks to my sister Dorothy Cashore, who designed Ashen's beautiful embroidery cipher, not blinking an eye when I gave her instructions like "Make it Lienidy!" Thanks to my mother, Nedda Cashore, who served as a test subject and embroidered some of the symbols for me, even though I refused to tell her why I was asking her to do so.

  Thanks to Dr. Michael Jacobson for answering questions about burns. Thanks to my uncle, Dr. Walter Willihnganz, for answering questions about knife wounds, eyeballs, and whether kneading bread is good therapy once a broken arm has healed. (The answer: Yes!)

  Thanks to Kaz Stouffer at TSNY Beantown for showing me the ropes, literally, and helping me figure out how Danzhol intended to execute his dastardly plan.

  Thanks to Kelly Droney and Melissa Murphy for answering strange questions about what happens to corpses in caves and bones thrown into rivers.

  A number of people very kindly answered questions about specific matters from time to time, or expressed opinions when I asked for them. Some of these people, including my first- and secondround readers, have already been named here in reference to other matters; some have already been named here more than once! Chief among those not yet named are Sarah Miller (who helped me with Po in the courtroom) and Marc Moskowitz (who helped with watch parts, boat disguise, and lots of other things too). Thank you!

  Any errors in the book are mine.

  Thanks to Danese Joyce for her wisdom and guidance.

  Thanks to Lauri Hornik and Don Weisberg for their patience and support and to Natalie Sousa for designing the beautiful Dial cover for the book. Thanks to Jenny Kelly for the beautiful interior design. A big thank you to the rest of the Penguin team who worked so hard to get Bitterblue ready and launch her into the world. Thanks also to my publishers, agents, and scouts around the world who make the business side of my work such a pleasure.

  Since I seem to have made a habit of repeating myself—and because they deserve it most—thanks again to my editor and my agent.

  And finally, thanks, as always, to my family.



  Kristin Cashore, Bitterblue

  (Series: Graceling Realm # 3)




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