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.
- Kestrel and Arin were really strong main characters (with pretty sweet names). It was hard to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes because of the lifestyle differences between their two cultures.
- Kestrel really gets a chance to walk in Arin's shoes when the tables turn.
- The world-building was really interesting. I enjoyed the culture and the competition between the two countries.
- Kestrel needs to choose between marrying or being in the military, I think that would be a really hard choice, especially when she was so gifted with military tactics.
- The back and forth with Arin was a bit much. Yeah there should be slow-burn in the romance, but this was torture.
- The book was interesting, but the climax was only really near the end. I guess it left me hanging for more.