Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:
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.
What was so great about this novel? Can I say EVERYTHING? Seriously, from the GORGEOUS cover art to the storyline, the characters and the building romance...EVERYTHING!
I always find it hardest to write reviews for books that I completely fall in love with and this proves to be no easier but here goes....
Let's start with the storyline and plot...amazing. Really, Rutkoski really outdoes her self and provides us lucky readers with a pacing and storyline that does not disappoint. This one will hook into you and keep you up until midnight (or 2am in my case)...and even after you finish you will be so excited you want to go back and start it all over again just so you don't have to have it all come to an end. The world building is fantastic! The Winner's Curse is so beautifully written that you can hear the water lapping and taste the salty air. Throughout most of the novel it is not hard to feel like you're actually there.
The characters are delightful and full of depth and texture. They really don't even feel like characters but rather friends that you grow to know inside and out. From our lovely main characters to even those you despise, absolute care is taken with each. The chemistry between Kestrel and Arin is complex and continually builds and is powerfully vivid and intense....and did I mention complex? Seriously, these two are so complicated but it's almost refreshing because really, what relationship doesn't come with confused entangled intricacies?
I cannot say enough good things about this novel but take my word for it! You will not be disappointed! The Winner's Curse is a fast paced, engaging novel that has a multitude of complexities including twists and turns, jealousies, duels, betrayal and honor all wrapped in one! Do not miss out on one of the best novels of 2014!