Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: The Winner's Curse

By Marie Rutkoski

Supplied by Macmillan
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. -Supplied by the Publisher (Macmillan)

     If I had been aware before I bought and read this book that it was the first in a trilogy, the rest of which has not yet been published, I would have waited...because I couldn't stop. And when that inevitable realization hit me at the end, with five pages left and WAY too much happened, I realized my mistake -I had just started the first in a barely started series. I try to avoid this situation as much as possible, especially with a story and writing as great as that in The Winner's Curse.

Things That Were Just Okay
      It was a little hard to get used to the history and society of the two very different types of peoples in this book. The few times it felt natural to get a little bit of the histories of the Valorians and the Herrani, they were too far apart to really get a defined picture of the cultures, accompanied by each individual character's prejudices.
      The "dual" perspectives have a way of excluding any other characters from really identifying themselves as anything but shadow characters and vehicles to show how the protagonists are more "progressive, rounded" characters.
      Arin's apparently sudden turn of affection for Kestral seemed to come a little out of left field; there wasn't a ton of turn-around for his opinion, or at least it wasn't expressed as much as it was through Kestral's perspective.

Things That Were Awesome
     AAAHHHHHHH THE TENSION! This is the definition of a forbidden romance, and AAAAAAHHHH THE BETRAYAL! and AAAAHHHHH THE POLITICS!! and AAAAHHHHH THE ENDING!!!!
     The writing style and technique is also excellent.

Basically, this book has earned a solid "OOF" to the heart that easily empathizes with fictional characters.

The Blonde's Rating: 4.5
GoodReads Rating: 4
Amazon Readers' Rating: 4.5

Thanks for reading!
The Blonde
Let me know what YOU thought of The Winner's Curse in the comments!

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