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.
Politics. Love. Betrayal. Where do I begin? I can’t tell you how enchanted I was with Marie’s writing. It was so spellbindingly entrancing, it was like reading a Van Gogh. There are so many wonderful and truly refreshing attributes in this book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
So the winner’s curse is about a 17-year-old girl named Kestrel. She’s the daughter of General Trajan who commands the army of the emperor of Valoria. Slaves are a commodity. When someone comes of age which is 20, they must marry or enlist in the military. The first chapter was really engaging because it begins with Kestrel going to an auction and purchasing a slave.
Some different elements in the main character Kestrel that I really appreciated were that she is a strategist. She isn’t just plain smart, we’re shown in her thoughts and in her actions how strategic and elusive she is. Normally, what I see happen in books is we’re told the character is smart or it’s demonstrated in a few circumstances then it’s just forgotten. I really liked how throughout the novel I could see how Kestrel really thinks and how she analyzes situations and works out a solution to a problem that seems impossible.
The romance in this book is such a SLOW burn. What I mean by slow burn is that the relationship really tends to build up slower in comparison to other books, but it’s done very well. You kind of crave to see the romance and all the swoon-worthy stuff. I believe it’s really well paced because I picked up the book at around 10 pm and finished it around 5 am. It was that good, I couldn’t put it down.
Overall I believe that The Winner’s Curse deserved a 5 stars /5 stars! It is a very engaging read with something for everyone to appreciate. I feel like Marie is so talented and has such a classy style of writing and I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend this series to anyone!
Also here are some of my favorite quotes in the book:
“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”
“Even though the god of lies loves you.”
” In the dark. You look like an open flame.”
“Always identify your opponent’s assets and weaknesses.”
“He had threaded desire into the braids, had wanted her to sense it even as he dreaded that she would.”