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The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 369 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
|Grade Level: 7 - 9|
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This book was fast paced, fun and interesting and good start to a series. I’m keen to see where it goes!
I had no idea what to expect with this book but I enjoyed it! It was fun look into a new fantasy world with new characters and a lot of great plot devices.
I really loved the two main characters. I loved that Kestrel was not just this princess character or completely violent. She had a lot of character which was really good. She defended her friends, was clever and just amazing. I love seeing multifaceted characters. I also loved Arin and how he was an interesting character. I find him really attractive and just want him and Kestrel to be happy! With all the twists and turns I loved that they didn’t just fall together and there was this friendship between them which is just fantastic.
I also didn’t see the storyline coming which I really appreciate. The revolutions, the war history, the music, the people. Some of the interactions with the characters were great. The ending was really strong and sets up a great outline for the next book which I am looking forward to reading!
Also, the writing is really wonderful, I love some of the quotes in it which are so lyrical and gorgeous.
This book took a while to grab me. Maybe it was the fact that the slave-mistress relationship felt weird at the beginning or Kestrel’s military father but I was uncertain for the first half of the book. I’m really glad I continued though as it made up for it.
I thought the history of the land was really interesting and really really loved the ending. It was unpredictable and unexpected.
Recommended for: Young Adult Fantasy lovers would enjoy this book!
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“The truth can deceive as well as a lie.”
“Isn't that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
“You might not think of me as your friend,' Kestrel told Arin, 'but I think of you as mine.”
“The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”
“She saw, yet again, that her friend's compliments were just bits of art and artifice. They were paper swans, cunningly folded so that they could float on the air for a few moments. Nothing more.”
The parts I liked:
1. All the characters are likeable one way or another, especially Kestral and Arin. It is rare for me to not hate one or the other main protagonist in a YA fantasy
2. The writing – it was simple and straightforward. No weird sentences or structures where things don’t really flow.
Parts that weren’t so great:
1. The pacing – Minimal events happened in this book. Between Kestral buying Arin and the events at the end, there was a lot of just normal day to day activities. While I understand they contributed to the story, the plot lacked a certain amount of tension that keeps one’s interest. Even the love story is very low-key, a kind of simmering romance, but even at the end, I don’t feel like the climax was that exciting!
2. The world building – very minimal, pretty much nonexistent – you get two countries, Herran and Valoria, one is the evil conqueror empire and the other have been enslaved. Valoria – martial culture, Herran – music and beauty, that’s pretty much it.
3. The jumps between scenes – The author had a tendency to jump scene to scene. Rather than smoothly transitioning one chapter to another, each chapter had little snippets of scenes. While I appreciate the author is not wasting space on useless events to connect scenes, it all felt a little too broken for the story to flow.
Overall, I can see why this book has so much appeal. I would recommend the series (since I’ve finished the rest of the books) by the time I write this review, but as a first book in a series, it just wasn’t that exciting for me.