sábado, 21 de mayo de 2016

The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy.
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Year: 2014
Ranking: 4,3/ 5

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.

The Author

Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globeand The Jewel of the Kalderash.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Personal Experience with This Book

Everyone has probably seen this book somewhere. This book is literally everywhere because the last book of the trilogy just came out. Yes, I'm just reading the first one ok. Anyway. I wanted to read this book long ago. The reason is very simple; its cover is GORGEOUS. Please look at it; it is BEAUTIFUL. However, not wanting to embark myself on another year waiting for a book, I have enough with Throne of Glass, I decided I would read the trilogy when all was ready. It is already completed so I started reading it.

I did not know much about the story. All I knew was that we would have a forbidden romance. The world and the main conflict I had no idea and I liked delve into the story this way.

The plot of the book is great. We have a world created with a society where war was and remains the main protagonist, a society that lives with slavery as if that was something prideful. We can find intrigue, action, politics, romance, strategies, and much more that make the story something unique in my opinion.

The book is the first in a trilogy and therefore it is a book that you would think would come to suffer from this introductory syndrome many first book suffer where the reader feels that nothing happens and all we do is positioning ourselves in the world created by the writer . This book does not suffer from that. The pace of the book is very balanced, the reader does not get bored. I liked that even in times when "nothing happened" - because we were in situations that did not contribute much to the main story - something interesting was happening. So you won’t feel as if the author put those parts there to give length to the book.

The world is very well built. The divided society that we found and the two main characters we know show us one-way or another how big is the imagination of the author and how everything was thought to build it. It is also very interesting to put an issue as slavery in a book for this generation of young people. I liked how the issue does not becomes extremely graphic with the situation of the slaves, but we neither passed over it like it was nothing.

When you half into the book you begin to see the overall plot of the entire trilogy and I speak not just for the romance between owner and slave. Although this romance stands out very well for the plot.

The romance is quite slow. It gradually develops; something that is not much seen in Young Adult. It is not the centre of the story and I liked that. Although I loved the couple formed by the two main characters. I think that I love them more as a couple than individually. I feel that they complement each other and their interactions seemed so cute. I like seeing how it is a love that blooms within them gradually though they themselves do not want to accept it.  And, the internal conflict they have because it is not right feeling that way for that other person. It is a one romance that makes you want to support them with all you heart and hope that everything goes well for them.

Kestrel is an amazing girl. She has a refreshing personality in my opinion. Kestrel has only one passion, music, but her father does not consider it something that she should concentrate in. She has lived a life luxuries but her personality is not the one of a superficial girl, on the contrary, she has her feet very firmly on the ground. What I most like about her was her way of using the great skill she has to be analytical and see what others cannot see with the naked eye.

Arin is mysterious but with a giant heart. He fights for a cause he considers fair and for his people, the people he loves. However, he finds something that confuses him in Kestrel, something that makes him see things he had not seen before. He is a character who feels well and leaves like a man. You can see that not all his years as a slave have taken away the education he received when he still had his freedom. He is a born leader and he knows it, but does not want to be in that position at the beginning. He grows a lot during this first book; I want to see what else will happen to him as the story progresses.

The writing of Marie Rutkoski is very good. I do not consider it poetic or spectacular as I have heard and read in other reviews of this book, but I do believe that her way of carrying out the story leaves you very well stand as a reader. She knows how to describe situations without the reader finding it tedious or feel bored. You do not feel any flat character. Even the most superficial and less touched. All of them are beautifully crafted and designed. Everyone feels human and an important part of the story.

I really liked this book. I think the trilogy has great potential and I  hope to finish it within the next few months. Since I can read a book a month I'll be happy to present the review of the complete trilogy soon. Have you wanted to read this book, or did you read it? If you are part of the latter, what did about you think about it?

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