Title: The Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Teens & Young Adult, YA Fantasty
Published: 3rd July 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books, UK.
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 heard lots of people going on about this book, so of course I had to read it. I was not disappointed. I was hooked and read it in on sitting.
Kestrel is the daughter of a Valorian general, strong minded and loves her independence. Within the first chapter, Kestral buys a Herrani slave for a lot of money, she allows people to believe it is because he is a blacksmith and would be a perfect fit into her home but it is mainly due to her love of playing music, which is reserved for slaves, and he can sing. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that she will eventually fall in love with the Arin the slave, but of course, that is socially unacceptable.
The winner’s curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only after paying a steep price.”
Because the book is written in third person, we get to read about both Kestrel and Arin, which is brilliant as there is a lot of dramatic irony, as we learn that Arin has been specifically placed into Kestrel’s house.
I was really intrigued by Kestrel. She was clever and cunning as she was able to trick and manipulate characters into helping her when she needed it. She cannot bear to take a life but was able to come up with strategies that would ultimately kill numerous people. She was not physically strong, she was capable in fighting, but her intelligence and strategy made up for it.
I have already started on the next book and see myself completing the series within the next few days at this rate!