Publisher’s summary: 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.
My take: This is one of those books that have an ending that makes the entire book so unbelievably worth it! That was a phenomenal ending, I tell ya, but it’s also one of those endings that makes you think, “That sucks!”
This book was so good that I read the entire book in one sitting, and I didn’t even feel like my day was consumed! I felt like it happened in a snap! Yep, it’s that good. (Full disclosure . . . I did start it a while ago and only read a few chapters before putting it aside. But when I picked it up this time, I started from the beginning and didn’t stop until I was finished. Well, I MIGHT have gotten up to go to the restroom once, but I know for sure that I definitely left a dent in my couch where I sat while reading!)
One of the things I loved about this book is that it was fantasy with absolutely no paranormal aspects to it. So the war and lifestyle portrayed in the book were completely foreign to me but so much fun.
I think my favorite character in this book is for sure Kestrel. She’s an independent thinker and does what she wants and she’s kick butt! I liked Arin too, but there were times where I was worried about Arin’s decisions even though I understood his actions.
The ending to this book has all the tables turned, with a completely different set –up from how the story started, and I’m so excited to see where Marie Rutkoski is going to take us. Even though I loved this book so much, I have a feeling it’s only an introduction to a phenomenal new trilogy and I’m more than eager to follow along!