Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Winner's Curse: Review


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.


The Winner's Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.

There are no words to explain how awesome The Winner's Curse is. None at all. I have very high hopes on this book because it seems like a dangerous game will go one, and this book exceeds my expectations. It might actually be one of the top ten YA novels this year (it's far too early to say something like it, but this book is very good). The rating is very high for a new book in a new series on Goodreads, and I'm satisfied. The Winner's Curse deserves it. 

My favorite part(s): The games. They're all very finely written. You can never guess who will win until you realize their moves and motives. It's especially fascinating to watch Kestrel and Arin being rivals. They're trying to outsmart each other, and they win at different but very similar aspects. Yet they're always held back by their feelings for each other. The games between them are exceptionally dangerous and cunning and of course, fascinating. It's a little hard to explain it here without giving too much away, but I'm certain you will be awed.

My favorite character: Kestrel. It's almost impossible not to adore that girl. She's strong, cunning, strategic, and very logical when it comes to her emotions. She's able to look into her opponents' weaknesses like no other, even the ones the opponents are not aware of themselves, and toy with them. She's also very good at turning the situation into her favor when the odds are looking grim for her, even when she doesn't know what she's doing. Her logic and loyalty towards her country and what's best for every one always comes first. And while some might see her as cold and ruthless, I admire her strength in holding back her emotions even when they're threatening to crush her.

The character that I'm not sure if I like: Arin. My uncertainty towards his character is not all because of his personality. Sure, he's complex and deep. Very cunning and infuriatingly brilliant. Which are his strengths that I admire very much. It's hard not to like that part of him when he's so brilliant in these aspects. And his emotions runs deep too. The way he feels for Kestrel is pretty stunning, I'd say. In normal circumstances I'd like to love a guy like him. But with his strategic brain and his complexity, I'd like to see him and Kestrel as rivals rather than forbidden lovers because the games between them will be so much more dynamic. With those emotions between them, they'll always held back and I might never be able to see the awesomeness of it. And the way he shows his feelings for Kestrel is... well, a little bit infuriating. I don't really understand why, but that's what I feel. But make no mistake, he's a well-written character, and I'd like to see more of him in the sequel. 

The Winner's Curse is a combination of strategy, games, love and pure brilliance. Trust me, you would not want to miss this. 

Rating: 9/10 (I don't recall giving the first book of a series a 9 out of 10 in the past, so it's a first)

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