Series: The Winner's Trilogy,
Published by A&C Black on April 10th 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him - and for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. 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 him is much higher than she ever could have imagined. The first novel in a stunning new trilogy, The Winner's Curse is a story of romance, rumours and rebellion, where dirty secrets and careless alliances can be deadly and everything is at stake.
“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
― Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Curse
Marie Rutkoski’s novel, The Winner’s Curse, is a very interesting novel, that feels both historical and futuristic at the same time. Set in some imaginary land and time, those with great strategic ability seem to hold the most power. The heroine, Kestrel, the daughter of a great general is not really good at fighting, but knows how to play the political scene to her advantage. In some respects the novel feels like a young adult version of Game of Thrones. Except, without as much bloodshed, incest, or dragons.
The budding romance between Kestrel and the slave Arin, builds nice and slow. This makes it read more realistic than the usual love at first sight romances that plague many young adult novels. In fact because of Kestrel and Arin’s positions in society their romance is very Romeo and Juliet.
Author Marie Rutkoski planned her Winners series to be a trilogy. This is great because readers get to spend more time with this intriguing story, However it also means the first book, The Winner’s Curse, reads very slowly. In fact, the entire novel was basically nothing but exposition setting up the entire trilogy. Despite this there was enough story to leave me hungry for more and desperate to read the second novel in the trilogy, which I predicted would be faster-paced and more action packed. Basically, the first novel wasn’t exactly something I would consider hard to put down, because at times it was a bit boring. However, there was enough intrigue, and the main characters were likable enough that I was interested in continuing with the series.
Do I Recommend?
Yes but only because the second novel is way better then the first. Everything that Rutkoski set up in the first novel, appears to gain traction in the second novel, The Winner’s Crime, which I’ve already begun reading. In the second novel, the romance becomes even more complicated, and so do the politics.
Source: Fierce Reads