Series: The Winner's Trilogy,#1
Publication: March 4th 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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 really enjoyed The Winner's Curse, I fell into the world quite easily considering it's a fantasy. Straight away I was captivated by the world and the characters. I've seen people classify The Winner's Curse as a fantasy and it does read like a one but there is no magic in the story,which I found really interesting.
The plot wasn't super fast paced or anything but I was enthralled from the first chapter. The pace really picked up in the second half when we delve a lot more into the politics. I loved this because political story lines aren't something I have seen a lot of in YA novels.
I found that characters were a bit hard to connect with nevertheless I loved Kestrel. She isn't your usual YA heroine, which I loved. She isn't physically strong and she can't fight but she's incredibly smart and observant. She's a strategist not a soldier and that's what I liked about her.
There is a romance between Kestrel and the slave (I won't tell you his name because it is kind of a spoiler). I didn't feel that much chemistry between him and Kestrel. There was no insta-love which was good and they're relationship developed nicely,but to me it felt more like a friendship. I loved them each as individual characters but I didn't really care for they're romantic relationship as much as I had hoped to. I may grow to like though in the next book which I'm looking forward to.
My Rating: 4 stars, would have been 5 but I couldn't connect with the characters.