It’s been a long time since I read a book that managed to surprise me throughout the whole plot. Usually it’s easy to predict events, especially when it comes to romance between the two. This book has managed to keep me reading a wanting more till the very end.
I gave this book 5/5 for it’s amazing story telling, the heart stopping moments of love, war and intelligence you cant underestimate. This is the best book I have read this year so far.
For those who have not read the book yet, here is what the book is about:
The story introduces the life of Kestrel who is a cleaver and very smart girl and a General’s daughter. She comes to the time of her age where she has to choose to either join the military or get married. Kestrel is the kind of girl that won’t do anything unless it is exactly what she wants, so she has other plans than do what her father wishes.
One day Kestrel decided to make a choice her father would not approve of, she buys a slave for more money than he may be worth. She bought him because of the look in his eyes which seemed to defy anything and anyone, it was as if she could sense a kindred spirit in him . Once time passes Kestrel went against her rules and fell in love with Arin knowing she has to hide her affection at all times.
It seems that Arin becomes more mysterious with time and Kestrel find that he too, holds many secrets, the kind that can endanger his life and her involvement may risk hers too.
This book is set in a rich and very descriptive world of military, war and passionate love. Marie Rutkoski writes a story of consequences to those who play deadly games. The gamble is weather you lose your head or your heart.
The whole books setting is in a really beautiful setting, everything is elegant around Kestrel but she never really notices the glamour because she is facing a decision for her life. As a cleaver girl life can be hard, she loves gambling with men in taverns, not for the riches but for the satisfaction of being the best. She is not very familiar to loosing, she is a genius at playing Bite and Sting game. Playing and going behind her fathers back was usually a distraction from the fact that she was near the inevitable decision of either marrying or joining the military forces. She did not find herself to love, much less like anyone to marry and arranged marriage by her father was not something she wished for. Joining military meant being a good fighter and as hard as she tried, she was not good enough for military standards. One thing she was excellent in was the military strategies, she had her fathers genes after all but she was much more cleaver. I for one loved her whole personality, she was smart but at the same time very cleaver with what she knew. She was a very powerful female presence, a stronger one than some males in the book.
The day she bought Arin from the slaves market, she felt like she could do anything with him, yes she couldn’t find him a job to do. All she did was admire him and try to decide why he was always so silent and mysterious. The more she got to know him the more he irritated her, especially since he was better at Bite and Sting. However at the same time the more she enjoyed his company and eventually she had to hide her love for him. The progress to them becoming closer was very enjoyable to read, there was no rush especially since Kestrel fought strongly against her feelings.
The most surprising story twist was the fact that Arin wasn’t just a slave, he ended being more important than that. He was one of the leading men in the rebellion of slaves. By working in the Generals House he became very close to their plans and strategies. The moment I found out who he was I was extremely shocked, there was no way to possibly expect that to happen.
Of course Kestrel finding him out broke her heart, she fell in love with someone who she believed to be fake. As the story progressed to the attack on the general and the slaves taking back their land, Kestrel knew being mixed up in all of it was going to either have her killed or destroy her heart, especially since she helped Arin a bit during his invasion.
The ending had me almost crying as Kestrel went back to her father and the emperors land leaving Arin behind. She told them what happened, of course changing some details and then bargained a way out for everyone to stay alive. When she showed up back at Arins door with a proposition, he could not believe that she negotiated their land to be given back. Arin did not know she sacrificed herself for him, as she agreed to marry the prince in exchange for the rebels to be left alone.
The whole plot was so unexpected, the story had me holding on to my seat at all times. I have never read a book so well written, cleaver and plot twisting. I gave this book 5/5 for it’s amazing story telling, the heart stopping moments of love, war and intelligence you cant underestimate. This is the best book I have read this year so far.