(The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; 368 pages
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.
I'm a big sucker for romance in any book I read; I find if there isn't much romance, nine times out of ten, I'm not going to care for the book. There's romance in this book but it's slow building and there's not a ton of it. However, that was not a problem. The build up toward this relationship between Arin and Kestrel was perfect. If it had happened sooner or any other way, it would've completely changed the feel of the story and this whole book.
Kestrel is the General's daughter and lives a glorious life but she still has the same choice every other person has; join the military or get married by age twenty. Her father dreams of her joining the military but she wants anything but that. She has to practice every single day and she's never gotten any better. All she wants to do is play music but that is frowned upon because music is something the Herrani love and they are the Valorian's slaves so you can only imagine. She wants to be her own person and I admire that.
Arin, who is the young slave that Kestrel bought mainly because she was led to believe he could sing. She's never had any interest in purchasing slaves but something came over her when that was announced. He was a good investment, if you ask me. He's strong, he knows both languages fluently and he's full of surprises. There isn't a moment in this book where I'm not surprised by this character. It really blows my mind because when I think I have him figured out, he does something that I'm blown away by; and it might be something so simple that just melts your heart.
This book seriously has everything. It's an alternate world with tons of action, adventure, drama, betrayal, heartbreak, death, dueling, romance, friendship, love as well as many, many surprises you don't see coming. The fact that I devoured this book in under 5 hours in one sitting should say something. Especially since I've been having such a hard time reading lately - just not really getting in to my books. This is must have for almost everyone. I seriously haven't come across one person who hasn't liked this book. It's a automatic purchase for all fantasy lovers, for sure. If I could give a book more than 5 stars, this book would definitely deserve more.
Thank you so much to Ksenia from Macmillan for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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