Monday, 26 May 2014
Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Published: March 4th, 2014
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.
This one is one for the ages. I am in awe of the story. The characters captivated me, the setting left me wanting more. I NEED MORE. Give me the next title this instant I demand of you! The Winner's Curse was interesting and original and driven and an injection of so many great things the YA genre needed so badly.
Kestrel is the general's daughter, and her side of the conflict is currently winning the war. They have taken over almost every single part of the world that they have set their eyes to and enslaved their citizens. Arin is one of these slaves. He used to be a soldier, but not anymore. Now he is forced to follow the rules of his enemies. Kestrel is not satisfied with the choices she has in life, either join the army and battle alongside her father in a war she might not even believe in or marry young and be nothing more than a trophy wife. Somewhere her soul is itching for more answers. In a split second decision Kestrel decides to bid on Arin, not because she needs or even wants a slave but because she senses something in him that reminds her of her current predicament, not knowing that by buying Arin she set the wheels of an uprising in motion.
I loved Kestrel's character because she was so real. She was so conflicted throughout the novel, trying to do the right thing by her country, by her father, while still admitting that what they are doing to others is absolutely awful. She is caught between a blade and a hard place thinking that no matter what decision she makes she will end up hurting somebody, maybe even herself. Kestrel is strong and while she spends most of the novel trying to run away from her problems in the moment of truth she manages to scrape up enough courage and conviction to right the wrongs that came before her. Also, she plays wicked piano from what I read. Who doesn't love a strong willed artist?
Arin is also a man to swoon about. He is a soldier through and through stuck in the middle of an impossible war. He is strong and yet has a gentle soul. When the time comes to act he doesn't back down and let his emotions get the best of him, he acts. The relationship between Arin and Kestrel was extremely complicated and was handled in the best of taste. It is not rushed or unnatural. The author doesn't take the easy way out and let's the characters throw out their convictions in the name of love. Their love is a tortured one, a hard one, and that much more exquisite because of it.
The Winner's Curse is like a quiet storm. Everything lies in the details. The world created is one full of conflict. I liked some of the world's customs, like for example in their world the women are just as trained in combat as the men and even though Kestrel may only have those two choices at least she is not just MADE to marry someone right off the bat because she is a woman. I just didn't like how her country is so power hungry, but then again that is the point (and it really makes you think about our country and our gruesome beginnings). I want to learn more about this world and more about Arin's. The romance is real and enticing. I guess you will either love this title to pieces or you will hate it, there is no in between. I loved it, and cannot wait to read the next book in the series, specially with that ending...
For a sneak peak into The Winner's Curse click here.
Conjured by Natascha De Marco at 07:08