Title: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux/ Raincoast Books/ Macmillan
Release Date: March 4, 2014
My Rating: 5/5
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*Thank you Macmillan for letting me review this ARC*
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.
This book was amazing! This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year!! I can't believe I have to wait another year for book 2!!! After everything that was happening my anticipation is through the roof due to the ending. Krestel and Arin were characters you see and have all the feels for over the course of the novel. This is my first book that I have read by Marie and I am now a fan because the writing was beautiful.
Marie has created a fascinating world that hooked me from the beginning of the page. I already heard amazing things about it before reading it so there was high expectations that it exceed them when I read it. The beginning was slow but it set up the book perfectly. There was action, suspense and romance. Krestrel our main character is a Valorian and is also the daughter of General Trajan. She is easy to like, passionate and is easy to relate to. It opens up as Krestrel and her best friend Jess are out shopping when they come upon a Herrani slave auction, and here we meet Smith (Arin) who is bitter, can supposedly sing. Krestrel makes many moves throughout the book. I really liked her and the fact they she loves music rather than follow in her fathers footsteps.
The story was flawlessly beautiful that while you are reading you can picture the setting and the hints of the society. The romance between Krestrel and Arin through the book was one of my favorites because it started off slow and my anticipation for them was through the roof!! Arin's character is complex, smart and strong willed. These two are perfect for each other even when he is her slave. The chemistry is tender and makes your heart melt (Bite and Sting) and many other scenes.
As the story is inspired by the Greco- Roman period is focuses on the Valorian empire. It is set after the Herrani War and the enslavement of their people. The Valorians fueled the plot and its also seen through cultural and power are still remaining in The Winner's Curse. The Valorians focus more on war while the Herrani are remembered for their literature and art. I loved being in this world and with the way Marie put everything together we are just at the beginning. Even the ending made it interesting and made me crave for more.
The Winner's Curse is one book everyone must read! I want the next book ASAP. Its story was constructed, and written beautifully. It has the perfect amount of intrigue, romance and definitely a lot of emotion was happening near the end. I am still thinking about it from those last final pages.. This is officially one of my favorite books of the year.