Title: The Winner's CurseAuthor: Marie Rutkoski
Published: 3 July 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
What an awesome start to the year. Two 5 star reads in a row!
I wasn't originally sure I would like this novel. It is one of the reasons it took me so long to pick it up. I wasn't sure it would be my kind of story but then I started seeing so many glowing reviews of it and my online book club chose it for January so I figured now was as good a time as any to read it :-)
I was hooked by the first page, by the first couple of lines. I am not quite sure what it was but suddenly I wanted to know more about Kestrel's story so I kept reading. Though real life commitments meant it took me a few sittings to get through it, I found myself anxious to get back to it when ever I could and found myself thinking up ways to give myself just a little bit more reading time. I literally finished this book in two days even with all my real life commitments going on around me.
I loved the characters of Kestrel and Arin. They really came off the page for me. Kestrel, as the daughter of a famed general, intelligent and bold but becoming increasingly frustrated with the choices society has given her for her life and Arin, a slave who holds a secret, and is not who he appears. Both on their own and together, I felt Ms Rutkoski painted their portraits extremely well showing both her characters strengths and highlighting their flaws. I felt the tension between them and and lived and breathed with them as they made their way through the story. Ms Rutkoski paces the growing relationship between the two of them utterly perfectly to take advantage of the growing tension and make it even more realistic.
The world building in this novel is also done extremely well. This is a world where history has most certainly been written by the conquerors and right and wrong are not necessarily so clearly defined. There is much going on both in front and behind the scenes in this society and again, Ms Rutkoski balances it perfectly. We also see this in the way Kestrel's character develops through the book and starts to see more of what's around her.
The plot and Ms Rutkoski's writing is what holds this story together. I for one, did not necessarily know where the story would go or ultimately where it end up but I enjoyed the ride through, breathlessly waiting to see what would happen next and happy with where it ended, so much so that I cannot wait to devour book 2, The Winner's Crime when it is published. Ms Rutkoski's writing style makes it easy to just sink into the story and just read.
I give this novel 5 stars.
Sapphired Dragon xx .
About The Book:
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.