Monday, May 23, 2016

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

Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 368
Format: E-book
Published: March, 2014
Price: $6.14 -> Rp81.033 (Amazon)
Rating: 1 / 5 stars

Date started: April 27, 2016 - Date finished: April 29, 2016

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.
Kestrel is of Valorian blood, she's the daughter of a general, which means she's a very important person. One day, when Kestrel was in town she witnessed a slave auction for the first time. It was then and there she first laid eyes on Arin, a Herrani slave. Kestrel never bought a slave before but when she saw Arin she decided to bid for him, and for a high amount as well. Arin was told by the auction master that he can sing and that he is a more than capable blacksmith. Since Kestrel is a general's daughter, blacksmiths are always needed to forge weapons for the Valerian army.

The first few days of acquiring Arin, Kestrel actually forgot about him and neglected him without giving any orders on what his job would be. The head of slaves for Kestrel's home made Arin a blacksmith giving him jobs to make hoofs. Kestrel then made Arin as her personal entourage, Arin has to go anywhere Kestrel goes because of that they bonded and they became close. Kestrel liked the way Arin spoke, how honest he was and how sometimes their opinions are the same.

More and more times Kestrel spent with Arin. Kestrel showed her abilities in playing the piano. They played Bite & Sting together where the wage is whoever lost must answer truthfully a question asked by the winner. Even though when asked Arin and Kestrel answered truthfully none was honest. Especially Arin, it turns out that he was hiding an agenda. Just when they became close and developed feelings, this forbidden love could have no chance of happening.
“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”
I decided to start this trilogy when the third and final book of this trilogy was released, which was The Winner's Kiss, why you ask? Because everyone was raving at how amazing that book was, at how beautiful it was and how it was so perfect as an ending to a series. Of course I cannot revel about how amazing that book is because I haven't even started the first book in the trilogy. Hence why I started The Winner's Curse. I went in to this book having high expectation at how I'm going to love it because the first book also had great reviews on Goodreads.

I was shocked at how much it wasn't at all what I expected this book to be. I haven't read much fantasy books these past few months and the first fantasy book I read was this? I was disappointed. Let me tell you first the problems I had with this book. First of all, this book was very slow and when I say very slow I really mean it. Second of all, this book has little action to it, which is a major no to me because I really like fantasy books with a lot of action scenes in them. I knew I should've read other people's reviews of this book before diving into it but I really wanted to dive into it blindly and be surprised. Surprise!! This book was MEH.
He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.
She reminded herself bitterly that this was what curiosity had bought her: fifty keystones for a singer who refused to sing, a friend who wasn't her friend, some one who was hers and yet would never be hers.
After finishing this book and not liking it I asked myself "what's wrong with me? why didn't I like this book?". After asking myself that question I read people's reviews and they did say that this book was going to be slow moving and has little action because the focus is in the political intrigue of power and I get it know, the lead character Kestrel was a mediocre fighter but she's a good strategist. I guess that's why the author made Kestrel like that. I should've seen the signs when halfway through the book I didn't witness any action scenes or any blood spilling.

Okay, enough about what I didn't like about this book and let's move on to what I like about this book. The plus side of this book were definitely the author's writing and her world building. Her writing was descriptive but not too descriptive that I feel unnecessary details were thrown at me but more to a point where I can imagine the scenes happening perfectly in my head.

Would definitely recommend for fans of slow-moving story kind of fantasy lovers full of political intrigue, deceit, espionage. Once again don't expect a great battle scene happening. Will I continue this trilogy you may ask? Perhaps, but continuing on with this trilogy is not a top priority.

That's all for now!

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