Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Year Published: 2014
Status: First in trilogy, only book released
Page Count: 355
I had heard a lot about The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski lately. It was on a lot of people's Top Ten Books I've read so far this year lists, and the cover is just too gorgeous, so I moved it up on my TBR list.
Kestrel is the daughter of the Valorian's most famous war general. She has two choices for her future, join the military or get married. Neither of these options are ideal for Kestrel and she feels trapped. One day while in town she makes an impulsive decision and buys a slave she sees as a kindred defiant spirit, but Kestrel can not imagine the consequences that come with buying Arin.
Goodreads has categorized this book as fantasy, but I'm not sure if this book can be put into one category. It has a historical fiction feel more so than fantasy, yet it does take place in a fantasy world. This novel is an interesting mix of politics, society gossip, and romance. I loved that Kestrel defied gender stereotypes and was a brilliant war strategist. I sometimes get bored when books, fantasy books specifically, have too much strategy or political drama, but I wasn't bored or confused with the political side of this novel. I found the plot to be rather unique, and the romance was well done and never over-the-top.
I thought both Kestrel and Arin were likable characters, and the story was very fast paced and captivating. Would I say this is one of my favorite books of the year? I don't know. I think that this was a great setup for the trilogy, and the politics and strategy will continue to develop in the final books. I do recommend this book, because it is quite fast paced and hard to put down once the action picks up. This book would be great to get out of a reading slump, or in between heavier books or school reading.
I am very interested in the next book in The Winner's Trilogy which so far only has a 2015 expected release date and a title of The Winner's Crime. I am eager to see the cover of the second book, as well as continue the action. The first book leaves off on a perfect set up for the next novel.