18 Sep 2014

The winner's curse - Review


The winner's trilogy book one
Available now
bloomsbury.co.uk 

What's it about?

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 review
The winner's curse was a perfect mix of intrigue, politics and romance in a beautiful setting. It's everything a fantasy book should be and I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked that it was told from both of the main characters so that we really get to see both sides of the story here, as the General's daughter, Kestrel is in the social elite and as a slave, Arin is on the very bottom of the chain. It's your classic Romeo and Juliet forbidden love story but then it's also so much more than that and very well written. Although Kestrel is high in society, she's not the elitist princess you may be imagining, she's strong willed, passionate and independent, I liked her a lot, she's very smart and the kind of person you'd want as an ally, not an enemy. I liked Arin too and getting to understand the kind of hidden rage he has, something I don't think we'd have got to see at all had he been a secondary character in Kestrel's story, he has his own story to tell, something I hope to see more of in future books.
The story itself is woven together extremely well, its not all as simple as it all seems at the start and as we burrow deeper into the world and the learn more about both the past and present, the plot thickens and you'll find yourself torn between two sides. It wasn't rushed and the end will leave you begging for more.
Rutkoski writes a brilliant story with intriguing characters while simultaneously building a believable and complex world complete with a well described backdrop, a social hierarchy and a history.
I really can't wait for book two and I can't guess at all what will happen next but I'm excited to find out.

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