Ahhhhh! I’m am beyond excited to tell you all I’m participating in Book Madness 2017! It’s such a honor to participate with other top bloggers. 🙂 ❤
Book Madness is hosted by Maggie Ann Martin, and it’s a fun series where a variety of BookTubers, bookstagrammers, and bloggers pick their favorite fictional character and then make a video or blog post explaining why the character is awesome. Viewers and subscribers are encouraged to vote to keep us moving through the competition. (So if you vote for my favorite character, I’ll move forward!) You can find the link to vote at the end of this post!
You’ll also have a chance to win awesome prizes along the way, such as 2017 ARCs from debut authors, bookish trinkets, or even Amazon gift cards, and the winning blogger will win a prize as well! How awesome!
So what character did I choose? Oh my heavens, did I surprise you all?
I chose Kestrel, from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski!
I mean, seriously, if you know me at all or follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know that TWT is one of my favorite series of all time! I met the author last year at the North Texas Teen Book Festival and she signed the entire trilogy. I was starstruck for sure!
First off, why is she my favorite? Well, have a seat (and some spare time 😉 ) and let me tell you!
If you haven’t read this trilogy, there might be some spoilers, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.
Kestrel shows us what it’s like to struggle against society’s mold and ultimately win, though there are hardships along the way. In the country of Valoria, at the age of eighteen, you can either join the military or get married. Kestrel’s father is the empire’s best general, and he expects her to enlist. She has a strategist’s mind, though her father, General Trajan, pushes her to be better at combat.
While visiting the market, Kestrel and her friend Jess come across a slave auction. Kestrel buys a slave, whom we later learn is named Arin, and experiences something called the winner’s curse–overpaying for something that has little value. Little does Kestrel know that the auction was rigged just for her.
As the series progresses, we see how Kestrel struggles with the wishes of her father and friends and that of her own heart and desires. Valoria is a country of soldiers–after all, they conquered the peninsula country of Herran and have kept it for the past ten years. Kestrel’s father is the head general as well, meaning he also has the ear of the emperor, which we see come into play in the 2nd book (which was the most frustrating).
Kestrel is also loyal. That might sound strange, especially if you’ve read the series. Maybe that’s not the first trait you think of, but you see how she is in the final book of the series. Kestrel also accepts her fate at the end of the book 2 because she knows she brought it on herself. She betrayed the two people she cared about the most in very singular and different ways. The end of book 2 was heart-wrenching!
While Kestrel isn’t the best with the blade, she shines through with her keen intellect. One of my favorite quotes from The Winner’s Kiss is from the mouth of Sarsine: “You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.” I think it isn’t until this final book that Kestrel accepts this about herself, as this part of her in reinforced by Arin and Roshar, the Dacran Prince.
Kestrel is also willing to sacrifice herself. We see this in book 2 when she chooses to take on the role as the Moth, and then again in book 3, when she plays a final game of Bite and Sting with the Emperor. She knew there was a chance she wouldn’t win. Despite that, she chose to do it anyways, not for the good of her own people but for the good of the ones she’d grown to care for and love.
Please use this link to vote for Kestrel (and me 😉 )! The first round of voting ends on March 5th 11.59 PM CST. You can vote for up to 5 characters per round, and don’t forget that you have a chance to win some cool prizes! I mean, I won’t be mad if you don’t vote for Kestrel, but I hope I’ve encouraged you to pick up this series regardless!