Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Winner’s Curse

Today’s post is on The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. It is the first in The Winner’s Trilogy. It is 355 pages long and is published by Farrar Straus Giroux. The cover is very beautiful with the main character Kestrel in the center looking up in a pretty dress with the title and author’s name in silver across the book. The intended reader is young adult but adults with a taste for historical fantasy should give one a try. There is some mild language, talk of rape and an attempted rape, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- 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.

Review- I have in my personal life being studying the history of Rome and the Romans. It gave me a different perspective on this novel because it is based partially on the Roman conquest of Greece.  The characters are interesting with politics going on behind them. Kestrel is brilliant and her father does not want her to waste that. Until Arin she has never been beaten at anything. Arin is a slave but before he was the high born son of a noble man.  Together they learn and change each other. Kestrel is Valorain and thinks like a conqueror.  She is bold, fearless, and also a musician. Being a musician is not seen as something of value to her people. But her musical talent is what reaches Arin. Arin expects to hate all Valorains but Kestrel is something that he never has encountered before. Arin understands her need to be free and she understands Arin need to be taken seriously. Lots of politics, war, and threats come from everywhere and Kestrel will have to make choices for more people than she ever thought. Good plot, good pacing, and an interesting world I look forward to seeing where Rutkoski is going with it. One that I really want to see more of is that Valorains are atheists. They do not believe in any god and think that only fools do. That is something I want Rutkoski to put pressure on between Kestrel and Arin.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.