Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
At times, Kestrel makes such foolish decisions that I want to rip the pages from the book and scream aloud at her. And I'm not talking about her decision to buy Arin at the auction, although that is definitely not one of her better decisions made it turns out. At times, she seems like she might have what it takes to be a strong, independent heroine for teenage girls. But then she cowers at important decisions, and changes her mind. It's not that she's wishy-washy, per se, but she doesn't have enough self esteem.
And yet, I still like this novel, even though Kestrel leaves a lot to be desired. Rutkoski perhaps focuses too much on the romance between Kestrel and Arin, and even Kestrel and Ronan, as - of course - every YA novel needs a love triangle. The romance in the novel isn't all that interesting, although the motivations behind the characters that perhaps lead to this love triangle sometimes are. If Rutkoski had focused a little more on the tensions between the slave society and the dominant society, I think this series could have made my must read list. And based on the ending, which feels a bit rushed setting up the scenario for the next installment, I have hopes that she plans to do just that. So I already have the next novel on my wait list for the library, and hopefull Kestrel can grow a pair for 2015.