Anyhoo, I couldn't connect with the main character, Bitterblue. I wasn't crazy about her love interest, and some of the supporting characters blended together. Worst of all was the long-winded plot. The book could have been condensed by 150 pages and been an entertaining, succinct read without compromising pivotal elements.
Thinking of trilogies published today, have you noticed the first book is often shorter than the following two? I've seen trilogies where book three is nearly twice as long as the first installment. Why do you think this is? Do you think authors slack off or fudge a little on the second and third books because they already have a contract? If you signed a three-book deal, would you take liberties with the final book?