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 really don’t have an idea how I’ll start with this. I’ve read this because of the hype among book lovers and seriously I think something’s wrong with me. I didn’t really enjoy it. I was wondering if they have read the same book. I’ve read reviews that generously rated a five star and were all being intense about the whole thing, but I swear I tried. I really tried to love it. It didn’t work for me. Yeah. I know, usually those first books on a series were all talk or world building, but man I’ve skimmed this.
The writing was quite exceptional. The descriptions and the emotions are so crisp, you could actually FEEL it. I must admit that, but I also must admit that it didn’t go well with the plot. It’s all flat. I got jaded. It didn’t work. I’m expecting to be pulled in a fantasy, but it was a forbidden love so like Romeo and Juliet. It’s not fantasy for crying out loud. It’s dystopia. Romance. Romance exactly like an elite being in love with a slave and I believe they will work it out against the odds. Sounds familiar? That so old and it’s stereotyped. Not to mention predictable. Of course, one would be thinking that it’s going to be a “Happily ever after” with them. Unless the author wants to have this as something as amusing as a tragic ending. Someone must have been confused about tagging genre. If I would have known, I won’t pick this up. Seriously.
The POV is both from Kestrel and Arin. Well, I love having the main characters’ POV. Anyway, I can’t dig what Kestrel wants. Apart from she just wants to play the piano and doesn’t want to be a soldier, I want to ask her.. “What’s up?”. Her character only came out on the LAST chapter of the book. I’m not kidding. Like she’s all just going to parties and gossip, gamble with the gentlemen, and play hard to get with her best friend’s brother. Arin on the other hand is cunning. Deep and has unselfish devotion for his people. The only thing that’s note worthy on the book is it’s not InstaLove. No one can believe something that’s most likely a love at first sight. Perhaps that’s true for some, but I hate it when it’s in most romance book nowadays so not having that on this book is something.
I would recommend this for those book lovers who are suckers for romance and not for those who want action and adventure. I swear to God, this will bore you on so many levels. I’m really expecting that the second book would cut out from world building and unnecessary conversations. The world building is, I think, already established. More in action, character development and a seriously solid plot would really matter. So yeah, I’ll still wait for the second book and will check for reviews since right now I’m really skeptical in reading the rest of the books from this series.