Monday, February 17, 2014

Forbidden Love

"Kestrel slipped from her saddle, stood face-to-face with Ronan, and lied. 
'He is nothing to me.'"
--Marie Rutkoski, The Winner's Curse

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 355 pages
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Source: ARC provided via publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads Description

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 Belle
The World & Politics. Where do I begin?! Ok, must form coherent thoughts. I think I should just list everything I loved. It would save me time and you time and it would highlight all the amazing. Let’s start with the world. This is high fantasy, people. It is a world where one race—the Valorians--rose up against another—the Herrani—and defeated them and thus enslaving them. Brutal, eh? It gets worse…but in a good way. Their entire success is shown through the enslavement of the Herrani people and it is so sad to read about. How they treat them, they have no names, they just call them slave . It is horrible, but that’s obviously the point. The emotions I felt for this kind of discrimination was intense. It hurt my heart. SO MUCH MORE happens with this idea but I cannot say what I want to because I will not spoil a moment of it. Just know it is brilliant.

The characters. Kestrel is the heroine and she lives up to that title. She is strong and fierce and fights for herself and those that love her. She loves and sees people for who they are regardless of their race. I. Love. This. About. Her. She is ostracized for her open mind and she basically just gives the finger to anyone who looks down on her. She fights. She has a strong heart. She is just an amazing young heroine to read about. You root for her…but you also root for Arin…Arin!!!! Oh my gods of love, I was fanning myself over Arin. Swoonworthy to the max. He makes braiding hair a trait you want to find in your future mate. Wowza. He is a Herrani slave she bought at the market and he is just delicious. Strong. Intelligent. A warrior.

The Romance. The dynamic of the relationship between Kestrel and Arin is amazing! They shouldn’t like each other…they start to intrigue each other…they start to have feelings for one another…but they know they shouldn’t…they hate themselves and each other for the these feelings…OMG YOU GUYS THE ANGST AND THE FEELS HAD MY HEART RACING! I could NOT put this book down. The buildup of tension is pulled as tight as you can get it. I was sitting up and leaning into the book to read faster. While the angst makes the book great, not so great for my heart, the whole aspect of this forbidden love and what they do for one another will make your heart just melt. 

The Tension. The plot and pacing of the story is incredible. It is paced to perfection, letting the drama build and I love how the story developed after a certain event occurred. I felt like the story felt cohesive and complete in its own way. I mean, the story DEFINITELY has you wanting the next book because THE LAST LINE IS THE BEST EVER! Sorry. I just loved how the story ebbed and flowed and developed.

The Beast
The Wait.…….Book 2 isn’t out yet?

Should You RSVP to this Ball? 
YES! Check out my post from a few months ago of why you should RSVP early. Amazing fantasy world. INCREDIBLE characters. A plot you won't want to put down. 


  1. I loved this book SO HARD when I read it (early because of hype because I'm weird) and I actually cried at the end.

  2. Yey, I just started this one last night and I keep seeing amazing reviews for it! I slept really well after reading the first 50 or so pages so that's a good sign right? haha

  3. YESSSSSSS. Just, yes. To all of this. ESPECIALLY THAT LAST LINE. Omg. So amazingly freaking perfect. Just. Yes.

  4. HOLLA. "He makes braiding hair a trait you want to find in your future mate." --> I just laughed so hard at this line, even though it's totally true. Thanks for letting me borrow this one :)

  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed THE WINNER'S CURSE! While I didn't necessarily fall in love with it, I thought the story was pretty solid. I'm still very hopeful that the next book of the series will win me over!

  6. I loved the mess of this enemies fall in love story too. I just reviewed it this week myself. Very nice review.
    -Flirting with Fiction


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