Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
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.
I'm practically at a loss of words while I sit down to write this review. I went into THE WINNER'S CURSE with very high expectations because of all the buzz this book has been getting and you know what? It STILL exceeded my expectations.
I think the best word that describes this book is genius. The storyline? Genius. The subtle workings of world building that you don't even know exist until you read it again for a second time? Genius. The complexity of emotions you'll feel over characters? You guessed it....genius. And don't even get me started on the writing. OK. Get me started on it. Guys. GUYS. It will take your breath away. Now, I've been known to re-read certain passages in books before. Mainly because something doesn't make sense to me. This time I re-read passages because of their shear beauty. I've counted seventeen separate bookmarks I've used to flag particularly beautiful words. (Ok, you got me. They're not really bookmarks. They're more like tiny tears from the scrap of paper I grabbed to mark the first run of words that took my breath away. I had no idea I'd need my own paper factory to mark my favorite spots.)
I can guarantee you that this one will land on my best of 2014 list at the end of the year. I can also guarantee that you, too, will love this book when you pick it up. Unless you don't have a heart. Seriously. This book is perfect for fans of fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, etc. My point is that EVERYONE will love this book. Unless you don't have a pulse. Although I'd venture to guess that even the undead would love this book.
If there is one book you read all year, THIS IS THE ONE. (Of course you'll read more than one book this year--you're reading a book blog for crying out loud. People who read one book a year do not read book blogs. Do they? Whatever. READ THIS BOOK.)