Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Uncategorizable, Young Adult
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
Damn, this was a good book! This book originally caught my attention because of the beautiful cover, and then I preordered it once I read the blurb. The early reviews were favorable, and I can definitely say that this book met all my expectations.
The concept of a historical YA novel was intriguing to me. Although, I hope it doesn’t get to tightly classified as YA, since it’s just a plain good novel, whose protagonists happen to be young. The heroine, Kestrel, is a strong young woman with a lot of power. The hero (and, boy is he a hero!), Arin is a slave who is purchased by Kestrel in a moment of fate. The author weaves a tale of intrigue, and suspense. Loyalties are tested, and these two have to decide if they’re strong enough to sacrifice their love for others, who they’re bound to by blood and history.
I loved the world that Ms. Rutkoski created! I loved the characters. I loved the plot. I loved the drama and all the feels!! I haven’t read a book like this one in a while. The chemistry between Kestrel and Arin is palpable, but it isn’t nearly as raunchy or gratuitous as more recent releases. It’s a love that slowly blossoms and is severely tested. I must warn that this one ends in a cliffhanger (surprise, surprise, it’s a series). But don’t worry, it wasn’t anything too ridiculous or soap opera-ish. It’s a smart ending to what is surely to be an awesome trilogy. I recommend this book to everyone!