My rating: 5 of 5 stars
All of the stars for The Winner’s Curse….and then some. Just know that as soon as you can read this, you should. It has smart characters, friendship, love, and a great story. It hooked me from the very first page and I seriously could not put this book down.
Even though I know this one isn’t even out yet, I’m not ashamed to say that I really, really, really would like the next book in my hands.
Ok – here we go!!
I have been waiting to write this review because I really don’t know what I want to say. Other than the fact that I loved this book soooooo much and I want everyone to read it and love it as much as I did, I’m not sure I can say anything else that won’t sound like I’m rambling and just completely in love with this story. Be warned…I can’t help myself.
Kestrel is the daughter of General Trajan, the leader of the Valorian army and as she is in the city market one day, she ends up at the slave market…just in time for the next auction. As the auction moves forward, a young man is brought out and doesn’t really get Kestrel’s attention until the auctioneer mentions he can sing. At that point, Kestrel dives right into the bidding in an attempt to win. Eventually she does win and as the lady next to her states, suffers the “Winner’s Curse” which is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price. Definitely something that is woven through the entire story.
I liked Kestrel. She is trapped in a life she doesn’t love and does what she can to test the boundaries of the limitations society and her father have put on her. The dinner scene between Kestrel and her father said a lot. He wants her to fight for the empire and she would prefer to play her music. She is basically faced with the decision to join the military or get married..neither of which she wants to do. Her friend Jess (and others) think she is eccentric because of her love for music and other things she has done – like free her nurse. But really, she loves what she loves and doesn’t really apologize for it. She does have to toe the line when it is required because of who she is but she doesn’t always agree with the way things are.
So…the slave Kestrel bought at the auction…that is Arin. Arin is a Herrani and he is angry. His anger is directly related to the Herran War and he will do what he needs to in order to make things right. He has a few secrets and I’m not going to give away any of them. There is so much going on with him throughout this story that I just can’t tell everything. What I will say is that eventually Arin and Kestrel connect. Despite the fact that they try their hardest not to, it happens and that is when things change.
I loved seeing how the relationship between Kestrel and Arin changes. They are destined to be on opposite sides just because of who they are but regardless, I was cheering for them the entire time. I don’t know that things will ever be right for these two but I am optimistic and want them to have a happily ever after…that’s just who I am.
Rutkoski did a wonderful job creating these characters and the world they live in. I wasn’t able to put this book down and when I finished I was so sad I had finished it so quickly that I wondered how soon would be too soon for a re-read. I can’t say much more without giving anything away so hopefully you don’t think this review was a complete waste of time. Just trust me when I say you NEED to read this book and you should do this as soon as you possibly can.
To Marie Rutkoski I say: