I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux on 3/4/2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love\r\n\r\nAs 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.\r\n\r\nOne 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.\r\n\r\nBut 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.\r\n\r\nSet 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.
It is extremely rare that I find a book I would happily read again. I used to be a serial re-reader, until I had the bibliophile “problem” of too many books and not enough hours in the day to read them all. It was Steph @ Cuddlebuggery who insisted that I read The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. “It’s epic!” she exclaimed (and she may have held her dagger to my throat, too… we don’t discuss that). I realized two things: Steph’s dagger is plastic and The Winner’s Curse is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Now, I could get into all the details, like how the writing is like poetry, or how Marie Rutkoski builds us a world that is as beautiful as it is dangerous, with lavish jewels and aristocrats, and dark alleys and murder. Or I could tell you that the protagonist, Kestrel, was a character I liked from the start, because she was deeply thoughtful and saw a world different from that of her peers. Or I could say that Arin, despite his character flaws and inability to make a freaking MOVE already, was the perfect hero in this story because he understood, like Kestrel, that the world isn’t black and white. I could do and say all those things, but I’m just going to leave you with this instead: