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Completely Captivating: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Welcome Back!Twizzler Bites

I’m sitting here at my dining room table munching on Twizzler Bites (YUM) and enjoying the pretty sunlight coming in through the window while I work on this post. South Carolina winters are strange. One morning it’ll be a frigid 23F and five hours later it’ll be a comfortable 64F. I have the front door open (with the doggy gate up of course) and Miles the Pup is lounging on the rug. I’m pretty pleased with today overall!

Overview

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I adore this cover…le sigh…

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.

My Thoughts

A new fantasy series?! Yes please! I tried to get my hands on The Winner’s Curse all summer and fall but the waiting list at my local library was seriously a mile long! Finally it popped up on Overdrive, so I was able to listen to the audiobook. Although this book is classified as fantasy, I’d say it has more of a political intrigue plot with some fantasy elements woven throughout. Whatever it is, The Winner’s Curse is completely captivating and I couldn’t help but lose myself in the setting, characters, and story!

The world Kestrel lives in is well thought out and seems to resemble the Roman Empire in a lot of ways. Kestrel is member of the ruling Valorians and her people are the ruthless conquerors who have enslaved the Herrani people and treat them as cattle sold at auction. Despite the similarities to the Roman Empire, however, Kestrel’s world has its own qualities that give it a unique presence on the page, not to mention the political intrigue that begins to unwind! It is a well set up world that I am excited to visit more in the following books!

The romance between Kestrel and Arin, her newly acquired slave is subtle at first. It is slow to build as every interaction between the two in wrought with cords of romantic and emotional tensions. I didn’t feel rushed with this forbidden romance like one sometimes does in popular YA fiction, but every scene did leave me wanting more.

Recommended For

Because The Winner’s Curse is a slower paced read, with not a lot of action until the later half, I’d recommend it for older middle school readers and above, especially those who love a good romantic fantasy. I question whether  younger readers would have the patience to appreciate the slowly growing heat that is The Winner’s Curse. If you are one who can appreciate the gradual building of a good story, however, then you’ll enjoy this one like I did!

Details

Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (March 4, 2014)
Format: Audiobook
Length: 8 hours and 24 minutes
Narrator: Justine Eyre (one of my faves!)
Series: First in a trilogy
YA/MG: Both

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Top Ten Tuesday: October New Releases

Hello!

Welcome back to BookTasty! Every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday which is an event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they post a theme and bloggers (like me) create our own list based on their theme.

This week’s officially list is about older books you don’t want readers to forget about, but I usually go my own way at the start of each month and post a Top Ten of new releases. So, this week let’s look at ten titles that are scheduled for release in October! There are always way too many new books coming out, so I just narrowed it down to the ten that I’m most interested in…well, eleven….but who’s counting?! (All links go to GoodReads)

Mark of Athena by Rick RiordanThe Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (October 2)

Son by Lois LowrySon by Lois Lowery (October 2)

Tales from a Not So Smart Miss Know It All by Rachel Renee RussellTales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries #5) by Rachel Renee Russell (October 2)

Mystic City by Theo LawrenceMystic City by Theo Lawrence (October 9)

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid PaulsonValkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson (October 9)

Beta by Rachel CohnBeta by Rachel Cohn (October 16)

The Innocents by Lili PeloquinThe Innocents by Lili Peloquin (October 16)

Crewel by Gennifer AlbinCrewel by Gennifer Albin (October 16)

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamaraLovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara (October 16)

The Shadow Society by Marie RutkoskiThe Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski (October 16)

Finale by Becca FitzpatrickFinale (Hush, Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick (October 23)

So! How about all these new books!  Don’t they look great?!  I wish I had the funds to purchase all the books every month! But alas….

Which of these are you most excited about?