Description: 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.
Review: Reviews for this book have truly run the gamut between one star and five. Some really loved it, others found it kind of boring. I thought I was going to lean on the side of dull but surprisingly I was wrong. This is a good reason not to base your opinions completely on what other people say about a book and give it a read for yourself.
Kestrel is a very strong female character. She has a good mind for strategy and a talent with knives. But she’s not a complete physical badass, and I liked that. It gave her a nice balance. As for Arin, I think he may give some of my book boyfriends some trouble. I may have to open up a spot for him on the list. He’s skilled and determined but his faith in some things (and people) are shaken up. I think he and Kestrel could stand to learn a few communication skills, but I think that’s almost every YA character.
As for the world, I really want to see more of it. We get a small glimpse in this book and I know we’ll get a bit more in book 2, but I just want to know everything. How did the empire gain so much power? Why is the society the way it is? Give me details! I need to know! What we got of the world, though, I really enjoyed. Without a well built world, a fantasy like this one would fail.
This book is a really strong start and I expect big things from this series. I’m definitely going to go and read some of this author’s other books in the future.
What did you think of Winner’s Curse? Share in the comments.