14 January, 2015

#BookReview :: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

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. 

As the daughter of the Valorian General , Kestrel has expectations to live up to. Her father expects her to join his army, while the society expects her to get married if she refuses to become a soldier. As a Valorian, she is not supposed to be as attached to music as she is. She is expected to look after her own people. But Kestrel is her own person who loves her best friend Jess and her music. By the twist of fate, Kestrel ends up buying a Herrani slave, Arin, at a high price. Little did she know at the time that she would for him, or that he had his own agenda.

Kestrel is an easy character to like. She has a mind of her own, sometimes selfish and sometimes selfless. She often acts without thinking and often over analyses things. Yes, there are conflicting characteristics in her personality and she is very much flawed. It is exactly for that reason that she is so real and so loveable. Arin on the other hand is also a conflicted soul. But he is strong and ready to fight for his people. Yet he shows loyalty towards Kestrel.

The plot is unique in the sense that the author has created a whole new world for us. There are so many things in the book that have been explored as a part of this new world. For instance, there are different people and their different cultures, different Gods and places. It is enchanting to read about this world. I loved reading about the politics of the empire and different war strategies. Though I have to admit that I would have liked to see a faster pace, but it has been traded for rich details and backgrounds of the story. I also liked the fact that the author narrated the story from both Kestrel and Arin’s POVs. It gave me a chance to be in the head of both the protagonists.

This is an interesting and promising start to a new trilogy.