The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

BLOG“Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.”

As the daughter of a revered general, Kestrel has two options in life: join the military or get married. Neither appeals to her as she does not posses a natural skill for combat, and any marriage at this point in her life would be purely out of obligation. Durning an outing to the market she stumbles across a slave auction and on impulse and instinct she places a winning bid on a young man she feels an unexpected connection to. Over time, the bond between Kestrel and Arin grows, but there is much left unsaid. Arin has a secret and once events are set in motion, there will be no turning back.

I have to admit that I love a good YA fantasy novel. Especially during cold winter days, when a cozy blanket, a hot drink, and an escape into a fantastical world is a recipe for a wonderfully relaxing evening. The Winner’s Curse has been popping up on my Goodreads page quite consistently, so when I was looking for a new fantasy read I decided to finally give it a go. It is an easy read, and one you can absolutely breeze through, however, it is not one that is particularly memorable for me. I enjoyed the writing in this novel, and it is obvious that the author is very skilled at what she does. Overall, the story just fell flat for me. Not a whole lot happens in the first half of the story, which I wouldn’t mind if the connection between Kestrel and Arin was better developed. I found myself not connecting to either and didn’t really buy their connection. So, once the story really takes off, I was not at all invested in the events that were unfolding. Which is a shame because the latter part of the novel does have a level of intrigue and entertainment that I would have loved had I at all felt invested or interested in the characters. Ultimately, I am glad I gave this book a read, but I will not continue on with the series.

Gods of Jade & Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset“Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the firmament.”

Casiopea spends her days cleaning and doing chores for her demanding grandfather, and her nights dreaming of a life of her own. Far from the demands of a family that views her as nothing more than an outsider. But those dreams, over time, start to feel incredibly distant and improbable. One day, while cleaning her grandfather’s room, she comes across a locked and mysterious wooden box. In a moment of rebellion, she unlocks the box and with it releases the spirit of the Mayan god of death. Having been imprisoned by his brother, the god of death is on a quest for revenge, and to gain back his throne. In order to do this he will need Casiopea by his side who, having freed the spirit, is now linked to him. The failure to defeat his brother would mean a demise for both of them. So Casiopea, alongside the god of death, embarks on an adventure she never could have dreamed of. Continue reading “Gods of Jade & Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

Favourite Books of 2019

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Going over the list of books I have read throughout the year is always an interesting reflection, filled with books I loved, liked, did not finish, and ones I can barely remember reading. That last one is always amusing, where I need a few moments to recall a story or key plot points that for whatever reason just did not stick with me. For this past year, I can’t say there are many books that I absolutely adored and that would warrant a top ten or even a top five list. So I picked just the ones that I loved reading, could not put down, and would happily read again. Continue reading “Favourite Books of 2019”

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

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“Never believe your own lies.”

When Hal receives an unexpected letter stating that she is set to receive an inheritance, she realizes very quickly that there has been a mistake. But her financial situation and current dangerous circumstances leads her to reconsider ignoring the summons. Her skills at reading people make her a person who just may pull this off, and get away with an inheritance that would change her life and provide security she hasn’t felt in a long time. All too soon she finds herself at the funeral of Mrs. Westaway, and as the supposed long lost granddaughter, she is surrounded by a cast of characters that comprise her long lost family. It becomes clear that there are deeply buried secrets and something sinister at the centre of this inheritance. Continue reading “The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware”

Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics

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I love mysteries, and Agatha Christie novels were some of my favourites growing up. Also, my favourite tv show was Murder She Wrote so it’s pretty fair to say I had a bit of an obsession with whodunnits. Over the years I have read a lot of Agatha Christie novels but not all, so I decided that I needed to look up lists of the must-read AC novels. Three of those that came up consistently, and ones I never read were: Crooked House, The ABC Murders, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I ended up enjoying all three novels and completely understand why they are regarded as some of the best. Here is my own ranking from not best to best (I can hardly refer to any of them as worst!) based on my reading experience. Continue reading “Wrap Up: Agatha Christie Classics”