[eARC Review] The Winner's Curse

Monday, March 03, 2014

Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Source: eARC received by Publisher in exchange for honest review

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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 book has so much hype behind it that I honestly was skeptical about reading it, but I am never one to not read a book because of the hype. Actually I tend to thrive on it. I love when so many people love a book because I already go in with a critical view and therefore I think that the story becomes that much more complex for me.

The Winner's curse is like no other book I have read. The writing is so much more complex then I ever imagined. The author is genius when it comes to world building because I loved everything about this world. The castles, the clothes, the hierarchy and the family dynamic.  Kestral our lovely narrator was a great main character because she was strong, independent and brave from the very beginning and she never really wavers from that throughout the book. In YA today we need more strong female characters and Kestral will forever be one of those characters. It was quite refreshing that she was not boy crazy and obsessed with looks and appearance. Although there is a very slow building love story, I did like that it was not the main focus of the book.

Not only did we get Kestral's point of view but we also got Arin's. A young servant who is plotting to overtake the kingdom with a rebellion. I loved seeing his perspective because it was so drastically different from Kestral's. Their lives were forever intertwined but they both lived in completely different worlds and yet they seemed to always find each other. I will say that their "love story" was not what I wanted at all. I wanted more passion and more everything and I found that their relationship seemed to be forced at times. But I hope that this expands in the next book, but oh boy will I be waiting on the edge of my seat to read that one!

Overall this book lived up to the hype and this is must read if only for the writing because I cannot say enough how beautiful and talented this author is. She depicts a world so unlike our own, yet makes it feel so realistic and plausible. I loved every aspect of it and cannot awit to see what she does in the future.

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