Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical fantasy
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Winner’s Curse trilogy
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the second book in The Winner’s Curse trilogy and was a wonderful continuation of this series. It was a very engaging read and hard to put down. There is a lot of intrigue, war, and political maneuvering. The trilogy is expected to conclude in March of 2016 with The Winner’s Kiss.
Kestral is in a cage her own making; she is engaged to marry the crown prince of Valoria and her every move is watched carefully by the Emperor. Kestral decides to start spying for the Herran in an effort to have some power over her fate. Meanwhile Arin is struggling to govern Herran and desperately seeks allies in dangerous places.
This continues to be a very engaging read. I enjoy Kestral as a character and amazed at how ruthless she can be. Kestral has to make one tough decision after another and she is struggling not to lose herself as she plays dangerous political games against the Emperor. She is smart, but in some ways she is also very vulnerable. There were times in the book where I got very frustrated with her and wanted her to be a bit more selfish and try to secure some happiness for herself.
Arin isn’t in the story as much as he was in the first book, but we do still hear from him quite a bit. Arin frustrated me in this book; many times he takes what Kestral does at face value and he should know better. I kept wishing Arin would be more clever and see through Kestral’s bluster and games.
We also spend a lot more time with the Crown Prince and learn what drives him; it was interesting to finally get to know him better. Additionally we spend more time with the Emperor and he is just as much of a monster as he has been portrayed to be.
There are some wonderful twists and turns in the story. I also really enjoyed the setting which reminds of historical Greece. The book does end on a fairly awful cliffhanger, but that being said I think it made sense to end this book the way it was ended. I am incredibly eager to know what’s going to happen in the third book.
Overall I really enjoyed this book a lot and had a lot of trouble putting it down. I love the characters, the world, and all the political intrigue. I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy historical fantasy. If you enjoyed the first book, you will enjoy this one. I can’t wait to see what the final book in this series holds for us!
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge