The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Genre: YA Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance


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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | B&N | Kobo



Awesome World Building

The pacing maybe a little slow but it eventually built up and the story was very unique. Not to mention, it was very well written. I loved the environment, the world building, and the characters. If you loved history, you would certainly love this book. Even though it’s fiction, the backdrop was masterfully crafted. It’s based on “the Greco-Roman period after Rome had conquered Greece and enslaved its population in the expected way of the time; slavery was a common consequence of war”. There were tons of info yet it was told in a way that the bits and pieces were seamlessly woven into the story: the clothes, the Bite and Sting game, the music, the party, the rules of the Society etc.

Story centered on Kestrel and her slave, Arin. I loved Kestrel, she’s so smart and such a strategist. She was indeed the general’s daughter. The same went for Arin. They really were each other’s equal. Ironically, they were also each other’s weakness. Arin was no regular slave. His level of intelligence and perseverance rewarded him hugely in the end. The romance was very light but very tangible and believable. It centered on the forbidden theme, and it tugged at my heart *sigh*. In the midst of war and uprising, the author somehow found time to sprinkle on romance: the game sessions, the baking half-moons, and the sweetest kissing scenes. What made it especially good was that they were both clever people, both knew that the circumstance was less than desirable. Yet, both could not resist to follow what their hearts want.

The ending was a little sad. I hope things would go better for her in the next book, which I just found out that it won’t be out till next year. ughh.
At least, this didn’t end at a cliff. God bless all authors who took care to not put a cliff at the end.

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