Release Date: July 3, 2014 (UK) | March 4, 2014 (US)
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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.
The Winner's Curse is a compulsory fantasy read for 2014! This compelling story begins with a general's daughter, our protagonist Kestrel, who impulsively bids for a slave an auction. She paid a high price and she can't seem to bring herself to understand why. Little does she know that she the price that she has paid is way beyond money.
A few chapters in, and don't think that you'll be able to leave your reading spot until you're done! This book is the perfect blend of fantasy and forbidden romance. I was drawn to the main character Kestrel who struck a brilliant balance between being strong heroine and having a delicate feminine side. Do not undermine her though! When it comes down to battle strategy, there's no way she will lose.
The only part of Kestrel's attitude is the way she does not truly value Ronan. Ronan is Kestrel's best friend's brother who is extremely friendly and has a great sense of humor. He also just happens to have focused all his attention on to Kestrel and slowly trying to win her over. The way Kestrel goes about her relationship with this great guy did not impress me at all and she definitely needs to show more consideration for his feelings.
So who could be worthy of the attention from such a deadly girl? Well, that's Arin. He begins as a defensive and closed young man, but with each bonding game of Bite and Sting and every intimate question, the two can't help but draw closer together. But Arin knows that his kind and Kestrel's don't mix and that nothing could ever happen between them. I just adored him. From the very beginning we know that there's something not so right about him and where his faith lies, but... you slowly warm up to and fall for him. Just like Kestrel does.
"Arin wondered if she would lift her eyes, but wasn’t worried he would be seen in the garden’s shadows.He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”
“Isn't that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
A review copy was provided by the publisher.