|Read from December 16 to 19, 2013|
Expected Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: FSG (Macmillan)
Page Count: 355 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: The Winner's Trilogy, #1
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.
There are no words to describe how fantastic that The Winner's Curse truly is. From its incredible world-building to the heartbreaking way that Rutkoski crafts together Kestrel and Arin's story in a world full of betrayal and the true price of coming out on top, The Winner's Curse is sure to revolutionize the YA genre. I adored this book.
If you want to know how much I love The Winner's Curse, it was in the top two of my favorite reads of last year - I loved it that much. And with all the hype surrounding it, it most definitely lives up to all of its praise. The writing style is superb. I'm a huge fan of world-building, and Rutkoski does a phenomenal job of sweeping the reader into this beautiful, dark empire where nothing is as it seems and one act of rebellion can ignite a war. Rutkoski grabbed me from page one and never let me go - this book consumed everything of me while I was reading it and long after I turned the final page. If you're a huge fan of fantasy like I am, to say that The Winner's Curse is a must-read is an absolute understatement. I can't even with this amazingness that is The Winner's Curse.
"The piano, on the other hand, was a network of parts - a ship, with its strings like rigging, its a case a hull, its lifted lid a sail." -The Winner's Curse (This writing style is fantastic. Absolutely stunning.)
I connected to the characters in more of a way than I have with characters in a very long time. Kestrel is a heroine worth rooting for. She's determined and headstrong, and I loved how independent and courageous she was. Even if it meant betraying those she loved, Kestrel would do anything for her country and her heart, and I couldn't ask for her to be anymore amazing. I'm excited to see how her character will develop in the sequel! Arin, on the other hand, was so mysterious and dark - it was interesting to get an insight into his world! (His twisted world, that is) I love it when you just know that a character is up to no good, but you have that spark within you that they could be doing something for the better; Arin was that type of character. Though he and Kestrel never seemed to agree, they balanced each other out so perfectly, and I loved seeing them together throughout the story. Their bonds were definitely tested many times throughout The Winner's Curse, and Marie Rutkoski did an incredible job with these characters. Oh my gosh, THIS BOOK. There are seriously no words. Please, do yourself a favor and pick up this gem. It's a masterpiece.
The Winner's Curse is impossible to put down. Enthralling and captivating, this novel broke my heart and had me fully engrossed in the story at all times. And with fantastic characters and one of the best world-buildings I've ever come across, it does just the trick. I can't stress enough how powerful and emotional The Winner's Curse is. From the times of secrets and betrayals lingering all around Kestrel's world to the times of silence when its just Kestrel with the only thing she can ever truly love, The Winner's Curse is sure to have you on the edge of your seat until the explosive, fantastic finale.
Overall, The Winner's Curse is hands down one of my favorite books of all time. Incredibly thought-out and smart in the ways that it portrays society and the true cost of winning, The Winner's Curse is spectacular.
M Y R A T I N G