Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: Winner's Trilogy (Book 1)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 4, 2014)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you loveAs 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 everything I hoped for, yet nothing I expected. I loved it. It was beautiful. None of the characters are who they seem to be. Everyone has secrets. The author set up an beautifully imagined world where battles are fought not only with blood and steel, but with strategy and wit.
The characters are flawed and wonderful. They have history and depth. I loved Kestrel and the fact that she loved the things she shouldn't, and cringed away from the things she should have embraced. Arin was strong, but he had weaknesses too. The things that made him weak were the same things that endeared him to me.
If you are looking for a good fantasy to seek your teeth into give this book a try. It's one of the best YA books I've read this year. I'm already looking forward to the next book.
Content: Violence and kissing, but it's a pretty clean book.