"Winning what you want may cost you everything you loveI really, really, really enjoy The Winner's Curse. My only regret is not reading it earlier. Because it is so darn good! I mean, really, really... Okay, I'll stop salivating over it. But it is really entertaining, and must I mention how much I love political thrillers?
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'm not one for real life drama, but I do enjoy a book about it. Or a book of it. There is a lot of things in The Winner's Curse. So much intrigue. I have to admit that all of it is wonderful and dreaming. I love being taken to new places, and this world is no exception. Political games, agendas (hidden and obvious), strategies, hearts, and a bunch of other things are in this 300 paged book. So much in there. Such a great adventure.
First off, I really like Arin. From his POV, he is such a great character. A great character. An even better thinker, who is very calculating. But he is a bit... Well, slow. I admit that it might be the author's fault for forcing the readers to think a little, but sometimes I just want to shout at him and say that the answer is love. The answer is love. Love all along. (And I guess most people who already read this book would know exactly what I'm talking about). Anyway, Arin is sometimes a bit too... calculating. He holds his hate against Kestrel's people, but I can't really blame him. After all, he had been through so much. But when he was given the choice, I have to say that he made a huge leap towards... Redemption.
(Though he is still a good spymaster).
Kestrel is also brilliant at strategy. I dare to say that she is even better than Arin. But they are both good, and both of them have strengths and weaknesses in their strategies. Anyway, Kestrel is a sharp girl (and Arin is good at deceiving). She is exactly like a sympathizer. She wants there to be peace, but she doesn't want either side to get hurt. (As in her father's side and Arin's side). It is a classic tale of love vs. family for her. And I have to say that the author pulled it off rather well.
But my favorite part is the parallels. The damn parallels. So many parallels. Remember that thing about stories within stories? (Both of them, which parallel each other). That thing. So many parallels, but I love it. And it also is great at foreshadowing things.
The plot is quick, and the suspense does kill at some times. Even though the POVs alternate between Kestrel and Arin, the author pulls off some reveals quite well. I applaud her for creating such a wonderful world of politics and (pretty much) tragic love. Well, so far it is tragic! Whoops! Not spoilers. Maybe spoiler. Ehhh...
(But the book is similar to Romeo and Juliet. And I prefer reading The Winner's Curse over that book. Remember how Romeo and Juliet made me want to slit my own throat?)
Rating: Five out of Five
Note: THE SEQUEL ISN'T OUT YET!