This book and series as a whole would not be what it is without the authors beautiful and lyrical writing. It has a tendency to draw you in and submerse you in the world of the Valorian and Herrani people. I became so wrapped up into Kestrel and Arin‘s characters that I felt actual anxiety when anything bad happened to either of them. Kestrel is easy to relate with, even though she is from a wealthy family, and you want Arin’s rebellion to succeed, even if it means that Kestrel’s people will be killed. I also wanted so badly for the two of them to just set aside their differences and be together, even though that really seemed like it might be impossible. This series reminded me a lot of Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen with all of the intrigue and overthrowing of government. I recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy, strong female lead characters, and great world building!
The Winner's Curse
The Winner's Trilogy
Farrar Straus Giroux
March 4th, 2014
The Winner’s Curse is the first in a young adult fantasy trilogy. The reader is introduced to Kestrel, the main character, who is the daughter of the Valorian army’s general. Valoria some time ago invaded the Herran peninsula and enslaved its people. One day while Kestrel and her friend Jessa are in the market, they accidentally make their way to the arena where slaves are sold. Kestrel ends up buying one, a young Herrani man who can supposedly sing, for an exorbitant amount of money. Arin, the slave, and Kestrel start a rocky companionship over a game and begin to be honest with each other like they can with no one else. While Kestrel’s mind is on such things as having to choose the military or a marriage before her seventeenth birthday, Arin has been gathering information from the general’s house to aid in a huge rebellion that will allow the Herrani to retake their land. When the plan is executed and is successful, just as Arin and Kestrel were truly beginning to start a relationship, Kestrel needs to decide if she is to remain prisoner in Arins old home or to escape and warn her father—and the Emperor, of what has happened.