The Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy
In Series: 1
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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.
“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
This book was a splendid surprise. I was instantly hooked right from the start, however it kind of lost me somewhere in the middle. The plot seemed to be headed nowhere fast and I had no idea where the overall story was headed. But I am happy with where we ended up. Boy, am I happy where we ended up! This book had a great cliffhanger ending that instantly hooked me all over again. I am intrigued by this world, these characters, and this society. It’s unique and entertaining. I cannot wait to read the sequel.
“You might not think of me as your friend,’ Kestrel told Arin, ‘but I think of you as mine.”
The only thing that really bothered me with this book was the characters. Well particularly, Arin. I did not like him at all in the beginning. He was so cold and such a jerk! I hated the way he would talk to Kestrel and how rude he was. She tried to be nothing, but nice to him and he acted so ungrateful. Then when he was ready to be open to her and let her in, his “feelings” seemed a little out of nowhere. I enjoyed watching their slow progress to a connection and affection, but it just felt a little unbelievable that he cared as deeply as he claimed he did considering how cold he’d been. However, he really did redeem himself at the end and made me learn to love him. So I am now on board the Kestrel x Arin ship. LET IT SAIL!
Kestrel was a good character though. She was sweet and strong in her own might. She was still learning about herself and trying to figure out what she wanted out of her life. She hates that she only has two options and longs to find her third path. I look forward to reading more of her journey and see where her road leads.
The writing of this book was easy to understand and I didn’t feel overwhelmed. The world building could use some more details so I really know what is going on here, but I kind of liked how we see a bit more of the political side. We saw a rebellion strike right away in book one and that’s a nice change. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and entertaining. Regardless of my very small issues, I loved it. And the whole format of the book was fantastic. I loved the deckled pages and the sideways chapter headings, as well as the BEAUTIFUL cover and font. Whoever designed this book is a genius.