Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: The Winner's Curse 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.
 I will flat out admit that this was a cover buy. I wasn't particularly sold by the synopsis but I was absolutely in love with the cover to the point where I had to had it. Thankfully it popped up on Book Outlet when it did. So I snagged it. And despite many glowing reviews I mostly had it sitting on my TBR as decoration. And then I had a hair appointment switched around, minimal time to get ready, so I just grabbed the first book that stood out to me on my TBR shelf and ran out the door.

I got lucky here, you guys. So lucky. I was sucked in from the first page. If I didn't know any better I would say that I legitimately got sucked into the story. It was SO VIVID. From the first line I felt that I was inside the covers of the book, literally! It was written so beautifully, I just loved the way that the lines flowed from one to another. But better yet, it gave me that amazing feeling, the one that the best books always do, that I could just see everything so clearly. I was never really reading a book, I was watching a glorious movie unfold in my mind. 

Kestrel was an ideal main character. What stands out to me the most when I think of her is her brilliant mind. And this is why I think she's ideal. I'm a total bookworm in case the huge monthly wrap-ups and book blog haven't clued you in and while I appreciate kick-butt heroines who routinely do kick butt I know that I'll never be one. But a kick-butt heroine who is kick-butt because she can think? Because she's well-read, well-versed in history, and can strategize? Now that is something that I can not only relate to, because I LOVE out-figuring people, but I can also admire because she does it so well. And all of these things make the book so fascinating to read because you're constantly trying to out-figure her and everyone else. 

And because I have to touch on the romance, because HELLO MAJOR PLOTLINE HERE, let me just say it was a slow burn. You know it's coming, you know it isn't going to be easy, but it just simmers perfectly. It leaves you wanting so much more. And that ending? I just love the last line. Marie Rutkoski definitely has a way with words. JUST WOW. Want to know what I'm talking about? READ THE BOOK. Just do it. The Winner's Curse was wonderful, I DEVOURED it, and I definitely think it's worth checking out.


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