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.
Not going to lie, I added this one to my TBR pile because I told myself this year I would expand my reading. I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction and fantasy, but I saw this one had been getting so many good reviews on Goodreads, I decided this was what I wanted to start expanding with. And believe me when I say, it was a worthy choice.
In the beginning of the book it was really slow. It kind of crept along, but because the world building was there I still enjoyed it. That's the thing with fantasy and historical fiction. The action and suspense is always put on the back burner because the world building has to be on point. There should be some type of balance, but with this one the world building took over. Don't get me wrong though, that was still a big part of the story. The mansions and the war driven way of the people are still very relevant. I just wish that some type of something had happened at the beginning few chapters. Because the first one started with a bang and then it just fell flat until 100 something pages later.
As for the action, obviously I wish there could have been more. But when it finally came down to it, there was SO MUCH going on. I found myself waking up early for work just to get some reading time in so that I could see what happens. Once the action finally starts, it does not stop. And trust me, it will leave you with your mouth hanging open. Especially that ending. I need to know what is happening. I HATE cliff hangers. This one ends on small but BIG one. So when you read it, be prepared!
As for the romance, I honestly can't decide how I feel about it. For the longest time I couldn't decide how I felt about Arin. I wanted to hate him, but then he would do something that changed my mind again and I just wanted to hug him. But then again, she was the same way.... I was very upset for trusting this type of person, because I don't know many people that would, but at the same time, I know what love does to you. It blinds you to everything else that person does. And I'm pretty sure this was the case in that.
For this to be my first "new to me read," I really enjoyed it. I had some issues with it, but nothing super huge. I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment to this trilogy. Not sure how I'm going to be able to wait an entire year to get it in my hands!
Overall, I give this