Time for MAY BOOKS! haha I am catching up! June books will be published on the blog at the beginning of July. In May I read 7 books, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer, Prodigy by Marie Lu, and Hidden: A child’s story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano, and Greg Salsedo. I am going to talk about The Winner’s Curse and what I liked about it and what I didn’t like.
Genre: YA Dystopia/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Price: $17.99/ISBN: 978-0374384678/ Page Count: 368/Series: Yes, book one in Winner’s Trilogy.
Winner’s Curse has two main characters, Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel is the daughter of a powerful General and Arin is the slave she buys at market. Kestrel is part of the conquering society and Arin was one of the nation they conquered and thus enslaved. Kestrel has doesn’t like slavery, but she makes no moves to put an end to it. Really her only acts of rebellion are continuing her music lessons and avoiding marrying/joining the military. Kestrel quickly falls for Arin’s quick wit and humor. Arin…well he has plans that are alluded to and come to fruition later.
I was initially captured by the cover and wanted to read it because it was so gorgeous, but this book took me 3 months to read. It was really difficult and a lot of times I had to put it down. What bothered me was the consent issues in the book. Kestrel owns Arin and while she never truly initiates a romantic relationship with him, their romance really bothered me. Could he truly consent to this love when he is owned by her? It was a question that continued to plague me. I would have rathered them to have a friendship and her fighting for the rebellion, freedom for the enslaved people. Instead I was deeply disappointed.
However that is not to say that the book was bad. I believe that the author was true to the character. Kestrel wants to make her own life and decisions but due to her militant upbringing it is hard for her to act on those desires. Thus the actions fit the character perfectly. With further development I think Kestrel would be able to become an individual who recognizes the flaws in her government and makes the actions to change them.