Thursday, March 5, 2015

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


The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Curse
(The Winner's Trilogy #1)
by Marie Rutkoski
March 4, 2014
355 pages


Goodreads Summary:
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.




Review

So I was going to participate in the read-along for this book last month but I ended up devouring it. I honestly couldn't bear stopping so I read the whole thing instead of following the weekly chapter reads. Oopsies sorry but not sorry because I regret nothing! The Winner's Curse completely sucked me in and pulled me along for one hell of a ride.

For me, the best thing about this book was the pacing. I never got bored! Every moment was thrilling and I never questioned why this or that happened. Every situation, every moment served a purpose. I took in every word trying to analyze what could possibly come next but nothing was what I expected. Fun bits like society gossips and the game Bite and Sting - what an unique invention, were expertly woven in to contribute to the story. I loved that! The tone and language were perfect and the writing flowed beautifully making you fly through the pages.

I both loved and hated Kestrel and Arin. Let's start with Kestrel. She's intelligent and fierce but trusting to a fault. Not sure whether I should praise her or criticize her. Why did she feel like she could trust and rely on a stranger who very obviously hated her and her people? I guessed she learned that lesson the hard way when the Herrani rebelled and Arin was one of their leaders
A lot of her actions brought her trouble but I do admire her loyalty and respect her. Afterall, those rash decisions were only made with the best of intentions to protect the people she loved. She has a tough and composed façade but we know she's actually quite vulnerable. Especially, as we come to see, when it came to Arin. I hated to see how he took advantage of Kestrel's kindness. I wanted to smack him for accepting her generosity all the while knowing what fate awaited her. Serves him right to fall for her and feel pained afterwards. Although he did melt my heart with the way he protected and cherished her. I could tell he really cared for her. And some of the things Arin said to Kestrel really got my heart racing!

YES to the forbidden romance in this book! It deliciously simmered until a breaking point only to cool down and then start boiling again. I'm pretty sure my heart cracked a little for Kestrel when she learned of Arin's deception. I was shocked that his behaviour at the auction was all an act to get her to notice him and she totally fell for it. Why oh why did it have to be like that! Admittedly things do change as they spend more time together but I feel like that betrayal will always be inbetween them :( By the end of the book, everything was a lot bigger than them and more complicated for them but I still just want them to be together! The dock scene was heart-wrenching to endure. Wow the feels.

The story in The Winner's Curse draws you in and you don't even realize you're at the end of the book until you find yourself staring at a blank page. That was what happened to me. I'm so ready for more of those spellbinding pages so bring it on The Winner's Crime! Just kidding. After this first book, I'm legit afraid for my feels.

5 Cats

18 comments:

  1. And you will do well to remember that because Winner's Crime was even WORSE for my feels that Curse was!
    Fantastic review Eileen!

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    1. Oh man..... I really want to read it but I'm so scared lol.....

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  2. I am so glad you loved this, it really was a fun read! I so need to get my hands on book two now!

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    1. I just might wait until book three is out to read book two. I heard the cliffhanger at the end of book 2 is brutal.

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  3. I LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down! I wanted to smack Arin quite a few times. Kestrel was genuinely nice to him, but he kind of took advantage of her! Great review!

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    1. Right?!? It was heartbreaking to see where it all led :"( Have you read book two yet?

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  4. I am so happy you liked this! The romance, gah, so GOOD. I got so mad at Arin so many times, but I still couldn't help but love him. I'm really excited yet terrified to read the Winner's Crime as well. XD Great review!

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    1. Exactly! He's the type you love to hate! I totally feel the same way so you aren't alone haha. Hopefully it won't be too too bad!

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  5. Wow! I've had this book since January and still haven't gotten around to reading it. Now I'm not sure why... This sounds awesome! I love the idea of a really good forbidden romance. Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. I'm really nervous to see where the romance will go because the ending of this book gahh... I heard book 2's ending is even worse. Hope to be able to read your review soon ;)

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  6. I don't read too many fantasy novels, so a frenetic pace is a good characteristic to have if I were to indulge in this genre. I think that was why I enjoyed this one, too. There were nary a lull in the story. :) I hope you'll enjoy The Winner's Crime!

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    1. YES!! I love and hate how fast this book flew by lol. Have you read The Winner's Crime yet? I'm a little scared....

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  7. Loooooooveeeeeee! The ending of this one was one thing, but the ending of book two... hold on to your hat, lady! Or maybe, cat. Cat would be better. I neeeeeeed book three. I almost wish I had binge-read the series closer to when book three would be published. But this is a good lesson in patience, no? Excellent review, Eileen!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Hahaha noted! I'll be sure to have Ripple on standby when I read The Winner's Crime! Thanks Alyssa :D

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  8. Isn't this book just so great? Ohhhh man. I want to re read this book so badly, but I have the Winner's Crime in my posession and it's calling my name! All I've been hearing is that it will give me all the feels and I'm a little afraid. Hahaha! I hope you enjoy book 2 when you read it. ;)

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    1. I'm scared for you too lol but I hope you'll love Crime and then tell me to read it so I'll have courage to haha ;)

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  9. I am scared for The Winner's Crime too, because I heard that the feels were MUCH worse, and I don't know if I can handle it! I enjoyed this one too, my only small complaint was that I got a bit confused with some of the world building stuff, but that is likely just on me. Great review, and I hope you enjoy The Winner's Crime!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Me too!! I'm too scared so I might hold off for now! I found the Valorian and Herrani history a tiny bit confusing but it didn't affect my reading experience :)

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