Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Winning what you want may cost you everything you loveMy thoughts:
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.
The story follows two characters from completely different backgrounds. One, Kestrel, is from a conquering nation who has enslaved the people where she resides. The other is Arin who is a member of the enslaved. An impossible romance develops and one where I couldn't see working, but wanted it to work so badly throughout the story. You just want to know if a love with people of unequal status could eventually fall in love.
You are drawn into the story from the start through Kestrel and it doesn't let up for one second. You also fall for her closest friends despite the fact they feel justified in keeping and having slaves. Arin is captivating in his terse and oppositional personality. He is strong and handsome, but you know more lurks underneath his angry demeanor. Kestrel slowly brings him out and lowers his defenses. Through lies, deception, and a lot of truth telling the couple comes together only to be torn apart once more. The ending will leave you clamoring for more.
I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story. I want you to experience it for yourself. It is an experience of impossible dreams and wants and it is successful in it's telling. My only complaint was the end. Yes, it ended! How dare it! The ending might kill you, but you just know it will be worth the wait for the next book. I give the book 4 1/2 stars and recommend it to those that enjoy romance.