Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Maria Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Source: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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.
If I were to use one word to describe this books, it's "serious". Good, but very serious. No giggles and very few smiles in this one!
The Winner's Curse is essentially a tale of forbidden love. However, it's much more than that. It touches of some big themes, such as slavery, class, living up to the expectations of parents and society and military strategy.
Kestrel is a smart and relatable heroine, who's views are a lot easier for readers to associate with compared to the rest of her military, conquering culture. Arin is a bit harder to relate to because he starts out quite sullen, but who wouldn't be in his position.
There isn't a ton of action in the first part of the book. There's a fair bit of world-building going on as we learn about the Valorian and Herrani cultures. THere's also a lot of subtle action: loaded conversations rather than loaded guns. Towards the end, there's a bit more action in the traditional sense.
I liked the ending and I can't wait to continue this trilogy!
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