Monday, March 16, 2015

REVIEW - THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
by Marie Rutkoski
Publisher - Bloomsbury Children's Books
Release Date - July 3rd 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


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.
Personal note: Sorry for not being around as much. It's been pretty manic around here of late and I haven't been in a reading mood either. But hopefully from here on out I will be around a lot more, I miss my blog and you guys.
I remember reading my first review of this on what was once Realm of Fiction and I couldn't wait to read it. So I waited along with Glass and Tanja, let the hype pass, so I read it last month. Whilst I was a slow reader with this, it didn't disappoint. 

A lady in a society is destined to either fight in the army or become married at the age of seventeen. However, Kestrel, a daughter of the general doesn't want to be anything like that, she wants to play and write music through her piano, fall in love like any lady can. One day in an auction market she finds herself stunned and shocked in place by bidding on a slave named Arin, with those penetrating grey eyes and he can sing. But he conveniently was placed in the most powerful household in the empire...I think not. But it could be pure chance against the Gods. The plotline for me was a refreshing and intriguing twist to most fantasy books I've read. The mystery of the book really begun from the beauty that is the cover. It's what mislead me from the beginning in a good and surprising way. 

Historical YA fiction isn't a genre I'm usually a kin to reading but if it's anything like Throne of Glass series (which I need to catch up on) and the Grisha series, which I too did buddy read with Glass and Tanja, see the similar novels. lol. Then I'm sold. The writing from page 1 is just sensational, it was written with ease and so easy to connect with. The images, castles, gowns, swirling in your head. Although, you know when you have certain fantasy or historical books, with page after page of description, that bores me. A balance is what you need in a YA and if it's done right it's done too perfection. What I enjoyed the most was how my feelings for the book and the characters intensified throughout. 

In every book should be a leading character, combining that with a strong female character and you've got a bestselling hit. Kestrel is that leading lady, everything surrounds her rather than everything consuming her. She is in charge of the book and dominates it. When she want's to have her way, she isn't afraid of getting, which I connected to most about her. However, I felt that romantically I rather liked Ronan, he seemed to genuinely like her, they grew up together and his sister is Kestrel's best friend/sister. What could be better? Now Arin, although he seem's like a big hit with everyone, I found I was drawn to him in the first part, then it dwindled in the second. I guess we'll have to see where it goes in The Winner's Crime!

The Winner's Curse, is a sensational start to what I hope to be a promising series. Filled with mystery, beauty and strong herions, this is a brilliant novel from a debut writer.

Rating - 4.5

15 comments:

  1. I didn't enjoy this novel nearly as much as others but I did really like the sequel, so I'm glad to see that you're a fan and plan to be on board for this trilogy. Kestrel is such an incredible protagonist and I adore Rutkoski's writing abilities. Wonderful review, Emma!(:

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    1. Sadly it was the other way round for me, I enjoyed this much more than the sequel but I still want to know what happens in the sequel. Great strong female character, I agree. Thank you. :)

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  2. I'm sorry that you weren't able to form a connection with Arin's character that well Emma, I think I preferred his character at times more than Kestrel's! I really hope that you end up enjoying the next book too, it does take on a different direction, but still was enjoyable nonetheless. Lovely review! :)

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    1. Yes I don't know what it was about him... I hope so too. Looking forward to where this is heading. Thank you, Jasprit! :)

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  3. I loved this book so much, unlike you I adored both Kestrel and Arin, unfortunately that changed in the second book. Anyhow, I hope you'll be able to love The Winner's Crime more than I did (and possibly connect to Arin's character ). I saw many people say that it was even better than the first, so maybe that's why it was such a disappointment to me. I really don't know but it was still far from being a bad book.
    Lovely review. :)

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    1. I think I was in the same boat as you in the second which was disappointing as I loved this one a lot. Great potential in this series. Thank you, Veronika! :)

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  4. I'm so glad you loved this, I really liked it too and can't wait to read the next one!

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    1. Yes me too. Looking forward to what's to come! :)

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  5. I adored this book and the sequel as well! Very glad to hear you loved it too!
    Lovely review Emma!
    I miss you too, hopefully things will be less hectic for you soon!

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    1. Thank you, Pili! I did it was an original story which I enjoyed. Things are less hectic now thank goodness. :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I haven't read this, but I DO want to check it out. Hopefully I'll get a chance sometime soon. Enjoy the sequel!

    -Lauren

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    1. I hope you get to read this series. It's definitely worth a read. :)

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  7. I was worried this wouldn't be worth the hype, but I really enjoyed it. I still need to get hold of book two to find out what happens next!

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    1. I was worried about that too. I generally am with hyped books. But I'm glad I tried it! :)

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  8. The Winner's Curse is the high fantasy I have been craving. It didn't disappoint (not that I thought it would; I was 100% sure it wouldn't). It's been one of my top anticipated novels of 2014 for a reason.

    Marlene
    Visit my site for site for Lake Clark Alaska Bear Tours

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