Title: The Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (BYFR) (Macmillan)
“Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.”
Sometimes, there are books that reach and grab you, and you know these books will be big. I knew instantly with The Princess Diaries, Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I know it again with The Winner’s Curse. I originally read this book last year, but with the second book coming out March 3rd, I figured I would do a re-read.
First off, the flap copy totally does not do justice to this book. For the most part, it is right, but on the whole, it really doesn’t do the story justice.
In their world, Kestrel’s people are the conquerors. Arin’s are the conquered slaves. That is the world you are walking into. The thing that makes you love Kestrel is that she is extremely intelligent. She doesn’t have any fighting skills, and she is beautiful (it’s YA, it is rare not to find an attractive female protagonist) but her defining feature is her brilliant mind. In a culture of military might, Kestrel is a brilliant strategic genius who will win at all costs, and this makes for a formidable will.
On the opposing side, there is Arin. I am not going to delve too much into his character since it is major factor in the plot, and everyone should read this book without spoilers. Just know that Arin is more than a match for our formidable heroine.
Side note: I love the climax of books; the heartbreak, the feelings, I love it all. This book is one big heartbreak. One impossible situation after another, and I loved every second of it.
It is refreshing to step away from a dystopian world, and enter a fantasy. I am tiring of dystopian.
If there is one YA book to read this year (pssh, would can read only 1?), let it be this one.
Final Question: Would I have acquired this book? I would have done anything in my power to get this book. I would have paid as much as I could. I LOVE this book.