?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski [Jan. 30th, 2014|10:55 pm]
Marissa Lingen
[Tags|]

Review copy provided by FSG.


Ten pages into this book, I thought, why have I not heard of her other books? A hundred pages in, I went and put them on my library and Amazon lists. Because: sold. Yes. This is one of the times when I see that something is only the first part of a trilogy and think YES GOOD MORE rather than OH CRUD NOT AGAIN.


So one of the two main characters. Kestrel. So well-done on so many, many levels. First of all, Kestrel is allowed to be a strategist, both by inclination and by–brace yourself–study. She is not merely a natural prodigy. She gets better at strategy by studying it and thinking about it. Also, she has blind spots instilled by her culture and upbringing, so even though she is both strategic and treacherous (we love treacherous heroines!), she is not infallible even in the areas of her skill. I loved that. I loved that she was a competent fighter and that she used her areas of more-than-competence to get around her areas of mere-competence.


I loved the blind spots. Really, truly I did. Because Kestrel is on the winner’s side. Kestrel has been raised by the powerful in the empire, in the slave-owning empire, and even when you have compassion for your slaves, even when you have asked for freedom for your very favorite slave and have a loving relationship with her, even when you think that you understand about the things that slaves are not free to choose–even with all of that. If you are part of that culture, if you are that part of that culture, there are elements of it that do not just evaporate like the morning dew no matter who you meet, no matter what happens. And Kestrel was written just beautifully that way.


And Arin, the other main character, has his blind spots, too. He has the places where the things he has learned has taught him to expect very different things of Kestrel than what she is willing to do, able to do, interested in doing…they are perpetually wrong-footed with each other in all the right ways. It works so very well. There are games and friendships and music and politics and I love it.


(I will note that the politics does not happen right away. Trust me. There will be politics.)


And this book: if you are thinking, oh, the winner’s curse, that’s an economics term: you are correct. It is indeed that winner’s curse. Marie Rutkoski has written a YA fantasy novel with a major central love story around an economics term. She’s explored it on more than one level. Because she is smart and trusts young people to be smart. And also old people. Whoever, really. I appreciate that a lot.




Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

LinkReply

Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-31 11:47 am (UTC)
Yes, out in early March, sorry, should have said.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2014-01-31 07:35 am (UTC)
The excerpt on Tor.com is really good, but the associated cover image just screams "Not for Alecs!" So of course I never read it before now. Sigh.

Edited at 2014-01-31 09:38 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-31 11:46 am (UTC)
Sometimes having trained ourselves in parsing cover images has a distinct down side.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2014-01-31 06:25 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that cover really requires parsing. Other than maybe to sayi "Marketing didn't want to communicate that this book contained war, strategy, slaves, politics, or empires AT ALL, did they?"
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-31 11:50 am (UTC)
I have not looked closely, but just for clarity: I have found a short story on Tor.com that is related but not an excerpt. Which means there is more. Which is even better.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-31 12:26 pm (UTC)
Oh good. There is an excerpt, and there are two short stories. Tor.com has come through for me on a very difficult morning. Hurrah Tor.com.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: txanne
2014-01-31 11:29 am (UTC)
Ooh. OOOOOOH. You found me another book!!

(edit: and having read the short story on tor.com, it'll probably break my heart. Eep and hurray!)

Edited at 2014-01-31 11:40 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-31 12:24 pm (UTC)
I will try to do this, but what is more likely is I will get other things by Rutkoski and put them in my book posts and you will say, "Oh yes, her!" But we'll get there one way or another.

The preordering really would be in everybody's best interest. I don't understand why they won't let you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: blairmacg
2014-01-31 01:17 pm (UTC)
I put it on my (lengthy) Wish List through Amazon. By using the list, I've purchased and read many books I would have otherwise forgotten.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: stfg
2014-01-31 10:03 pm (UTC)
I also did not find this book when I searched on the author's name. I searched again on the title and it came up, which is pretty weird.

Here's the link I found.

amazon.com/The-Winners-Curse-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ERWUQR4/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1391205369&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+winner%27s+curse+marie+rutkoski
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-02-01 01:47 am (UTC)
Amazon will let you preorder it here, and it will automatically show up on your Kindle on March 4. They are clever like that. (It didn't show up for me anywhere evident on the search either. I had to dig around a bit.)

And I have preordered it, because strategy and economics and competent female protagonists? Oh yes please.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-02-01 02:19 am (UTC)
You're welcome!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aliseadae
2014-01-31 09:07 pm (UTC)
Oh! I went and found the excerpt and discovered it wasn't out yet. Even though comments here have said otherwise. Whoops. Looking forward to it when it is!
(Reply) (Thread)