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.
Kestrel is the general's daughter and she gets to live the high life because of the land her father stole during the war. Her people invaded and made slaves of the natives. It's the day that she buys her first and last slave that everything changes. She gets to to know this slave: Arin and finds she actually cares for him, truly cares, but she doesn't know of his plans for her or her people. He wants his freedom at all costs.
There is such a power on words in this novel, lies and truth. I've never quite read anything like it. It's really interesting. I will admit that it was very slow to start for me, it was pretty boring for a while but when it took off, it took off. It was such a ride, watching all these people play with secrets, using them for their own gain.
The romance is perfect, it is slow built and nothing close to insta-love, which I hate so much. It's so sad how hard they try not to fall for each other. I mean he is a slave and she the general's daughter, that just doesn't happen but no one can control love. The world building is top notch and the book is written perfectly, the flow of words seamless.
I do feel badly for Kestrel in the end. I mean that choice... to save your people and maybe get the one you love killed or stay with the man you love while your people die? That's not an easy choice, I mean no would should be a slave, ever but to just let your own people die?
So bottom line, beautiful storytelling, wonderful characters, and a very engaging plot. I can't believe I waited so long to start this series! I've been missing out and so are you if you haven't read this yet.