The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
OHMYWORD I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get my hands on this book. But I couldn’t be happier it’s my first read of 2015 – I think it’s a sign of an incredible reading year to come!
Summary: 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.
I LOVE the premise of this book. The protagonist PURCHASES a slave in an auction and then falls for him? I’m sold. (No pun intended). And seriously, this book exceeded expectations.
Kestrel is witty and intelligent. In every scene, every action, every line of dialogue, Kestrel reminds the reader of her sharp personality and resourcefulness. She’s such a refreshing character. She’s a strategist, encouraged to join the military by her father, who she has this interestingly complicated relationship with. I think the best thing about this book is how every possible cliche and stereotype is completely thrown out the window.
The setting is so unique. The world-building is really well done, as there’s absolutely no info-dumping and instead everything the reader needs to know is woven into the story. There’s romance, but there’s no insta-love and plenty of clever banter and tension. Of course, it’s all tied directly to the plot, which is HOW IT SHOULD BE!
And the plot – completely unpredictable! The conflict is anything but black-and-white, and even at the end I struggled to make up my mind about which side to root for – the slaves who’s land and who’s homes were taken by Kestrel’s people, or Kestrel and the Valorians.
So I’m a little behind, but I am jumping on this bandwagon to encourage you to read this book now if you haven’t already. 🙂
Have you read this book? Fangirl with me!