Monday, August 10, 2015

[Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski]

"The Winner's Curse"
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Curse Trilogy #1
Pages: 355
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date Published: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format Read: Hardcover from the library


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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To The Winner's Curse,

I love a good fantasy story and you did not disappoint. I loved that there doesn't seem to be any magic inside of you either, it makes the world building feel a bit more real. Your characters are interesting. Your love story doesn't rule all. The twists and turns that unfold are interesting. All in all, I'd say that your a grade A fantasy novel...

-The White Unicorn

The concept of The Winner's Curse is an interesting one. The fact that when you win something that you also loose something at the same time isn't a new thought, but the way that Rutkoski writes about it, puts it in a new light. I love that the whole novel is based on this idea. That even though so much more goes on in the book, that that was the idea that sparked the whole book is fantastic. 

Rutkoski also created a brilliant world for her characters to play in. It's a place filled with warriors, debutantes and slaves. When you put all of those people types in the same story, you know that there is going to be a lot of drama unfolding. You're not sure who is in the right and who is in the wrong, because her characters are human. They mess up, they make mistakes, and they are complex. 

Kestrel was a fun character to get to know. She's a strategist, but not much of a fighter, much to her father's disappointment. All he wants is for her to join him on the battlefield, and all she wants is to play music. She has a lot of different dimensions to her character. She's both a product of her upbringing, and a product of her own making. The two things don't always go well together, but it makes her a really interesting character to read.

Arin is another layered character. Nothing is as it seems with him. It quickly becomes clear that he might be more than just another slave, but you can't be sure. I liked his conflicting traits. It made him a character that I wanted to get to know more.

The love story was okay. I don't think that it's one of the best that I've ever read. But then I felt like it wasn't the main point of the novel, and I liked that. In this case, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Then again, I know a lot of people really bought into the love story. I just have this feeling that something else is going on. Maybe it comes to light in later books?

If you're looking for an exciting fantasy novel with some really interesting characters and fantastic world building, here it is.

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!

1 comment:

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I absolutely loved how easy everything weaved together. From page one until the very end it all just made sense. It fit together perfectly. The world is nothing you’ve read before.