The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux on March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
So, yes I know – I’m way behind on this love train. BUT! I’ve finally read it now and I am happy to say that I see the hype and I totally follow. This novel was a bit different than I was expecting (I’m trying this thing where I don’t read the back of the book if the title is familiar to me already, like book speed dating?) but it was fantastic in it’s own right. Basically it embodied everything about political – fantasy drama’s that make us binge watch shows like Game of Thrones and Viking with record dedication.
Kestrel, our amazing MC, is nothing like your average YA heroine. She is pictured on the cover wearing an epic dress, and that’s how she intends to stay. She wasn’t sarcastic or devilishly talented, but weirdly still has all the aspects that make up our favorite B.A.B’s. What this book lacked in the fight scenes we normally find in YA Fantasy it made up for in cunning plots and seriously crack worthy scheming. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been really focusing on my writing lately (Steph and I are collabing for July Nano!!) but I cannot wrap my head around how Rutkoski manages to form her plots. Nothing was predictable and everything was intriguing. The romance was a gorgeous simmer, the Royal Balls were full of soft silk and flowing dresses, and the banter was quick lipped and so very Austen worthy. Especially for an “old” find in my local library, reading this novel felt like returning to my root love of reading. It was attached to me for exactly two days, and I am already knee deep into the sequel. If you need something to get you out of a slump or feel like remembering why books simultaneously drive us crazy and fuel our hearts: go grab this!!
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on December 6th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Romance, Historical
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In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
I am really loving The Infernal Devices more than I loved The Mortal Instruments (and yes, I know I still have to read the last 3 books in The Mortal Instruments and I will soon because I really want to read Lady Midnight!) But, goodness, I am in love with The Infernal Devices. I don’t know if it is because it’s a more interesting time, rather than modern day New York. Or if it’s just that I like the storyline more, but there is something about The Infernal Devices trilogy that makes me love it so much more than The Mortal Instruments.
I am in love with all of the characters in this series. There was a small time where I just felt like it was going a bit slow, but that could have been because I was sick. But that is the only reason why it isn’t a full 5 star book! There were times where I was shocked because of what happened and because I wasn’t expecting it. Especially in the case of View Spoiler »Jessi… Definitely did not see her doing that! I knew she was capable of it, but I’d never expect her to betray the people who have raised her and loved her. Makes me dislike her even more « Hide Spoiler!
I really liked where this installment took the series and I honestly cannot wait to see what’s going to happen in the third and final book! Which I will be starting after I get caught up on other stuff and this wedding is passed! If you haven’t read this series yet, definitely give it a try! Even if you didn’t like The Mortal Instruments, you’d still possibly like this one. I love this series WAY more than I do The Mortal Instruments! 🙂