Title: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 4th 2014
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.
This was honestly one of the best books I’ve read during this whole #TBRTakedown read-a-thon, and it wasn’t even one that I’d planned on reading during this thing. Actually, scratch that, I think this is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. I won’t say the best, simply because I did have a pretty big problem with it, but I’ll get into that after all of the fangirling happens. Sounds good? Sounds good.
First of all, I actually really liked Kestrel. I know she kind of, ya know, didn’t notice that the whole slave thing was particularly bad or anything like that, but if you compare her to her friend Jess, you can see that she did start to acknowledge that towards the end of the book. I loved that she was very free thinking, and she really didn’t care to hold back those thoughts from the entire world when she felt like she needed to say them. I can relate to that.
The next character in question is my little angel child, cinnamon roll, Arin. He’s not perfect, but yes, he’s a damn angel. He just seems so clever and quick witted, and I’m just in love okay? Okay. Let me live.
And since I’m so in love, of course I’m fancasting them. I mean, he’ll probably end up in one of my How I Picture My Fictional Boyfriends posts later on in life, but I want to include it here too.
I mean, look at him. It’s just not fair. He’s so pretty in my head, I couldn’t not fall in love with this character even if I tried to.
Now, when it comes to who I picture for Kestrel, it’s a little harder. I have two choices though, so I’ll just put them both and you can decide.
I think I prefer Gabriella Wilde, only because she’s younger. But if Kestrel was older, I think I would definitely picture her as Lily James. I don’t know what it is, something about Lily James is just so Kestrel…
ANYWAYS, last part of my review: my biggest problem with the book.
Drum roll please.
My biggest problem was the portrayal of slavery in this book. If this wasn’t such a big part of the book, aka one of the two main characters is a slave, I wouldn’t mind as much. But slavery is a huge aspect of this book, and it needs to be shown properly. I felt like it was skimmed over quite a bit, like she didn’t want to actually show the slavery, just have it in there for some of the drama in the romance, as well as to fuel the later books.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, because a General’s daughter and a slave falling in love is a pretty dramatic love story, but I think that they nitty gritty part should have been showed more because it’s an actual part of history, even though this is technically set in a fantasy world. I don’t know, I can’t really find a proper way to word it, but I just wish that it didn’t feel like it was as brushed over as I think it was.
However, that certainly doesn’t tank my opinion of this book at all, and I’m already finished with the second book and onto the third! This series is definitely going to be one of my favorites, I just know it.
I hope everyone has a fantabulous day/evening/morning/whenever you’re reading this and happy reading!