Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Release Date: April 10th 2014
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
The day this book first came out I rushed down to the store to buy it because of all the glowing reviews. Did I read it immediately? Nope. Should I have? Yes! Even though I had a few issues with it, I thoroughly enjoyed THE WINNER’S CURSE.
I immediately fell into the world, reading the majority of the book in one sitting. It really grabs you, the writing flows easily but is descriptive and pretty without being tedious or boring. Speaking of the world, it’s pretty basic. We are told about two cultures that are described but not super fleshed out. Kestrel gets some history lessons that are obviously for the reader’s benefit but I still wished it had been developed further, especially as this is a fantasy. Still, I have to admit I was never bored with the story.
“He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”
Although I knew to expect a romance going into THE WINNER’S CURSE, I had not prepared for one that would give me so many FEELS. My favorite type of romance depicts the classic slow burning journey, and this book delivered that. When things finally started to get a little more evident (still not in your face) I was downright giddy to see more development.
However, the romance, the strongest point of the book for me, could also be considered its downfall. There’s no doubt this relationship that the characters are slowing moving towards is the backbone of the book. I wanted more fantasy. An underlying plot finally comes into the picture towards the middle/end of the book that obviously sets up the next book so I hope more is done with the sequel.
Kestrel wasn’t my favorite character. I did like her, but I struggled to connect and relate to her and her actions in some situations. We see some of her bravery towards the end of the book and I hope she continues to develop in future books. View Spoiler »One thing that did bother me with her was that she went back and forth with her feelings a lot and didn’t seem to hold a lot of resentment towards those who killed and tortured her friends. The only one she was sad about was Jess. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, I liked the book. It has a lot of entertainment value and am excited to see how the sequel compares.