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.
The Winner's Curse has been on my radar for awhile, mostly because of it's beautiful cover. However, because of covers I've seen before, I was under the impression this book was some kind of historical boarding school paranormal romance. After all, lots of books like that have girls in pretty dresses on the cover. However, when I picked up an ARC at work and read the synopsis, I was pleasantly surprised.
The book explores the concept of The Winner's Curse--when you purchase something at something at auction, and the cost is far higher than the price paid. But what if the thing you had purchased was a person? What would that cost you?
I found myself racing through the book, and what I found was awesome. This story is a decadent fantasy full of class politics, intrigue, secrets, and a slow-burn romance. In fact, most things about this book were slow-burn, including the plot. However, don't mistake 'slow-burn' for boring, this book is as addictive as it is detailed.
One of the best things about this book is it's world. It's filled with extraordinary details, and the cultures that are explored in the book are really cool. I'm excited to see more of both the cultures in future books. This book isn't even out and I'm dying for the sequel--it's definitely one to watch out for!