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. @goodreads
That ending! What are Kestrel and Arin going to do now? I guess I will find out in the other books.
Kestrel is a Valorian and a very high ranked one as her father is a general. Years ago the Valorian army defeated the Herrani people and turned them into slaves. Why? Because they wanted to and that's what jerks do. These poor people had to live as slaves in their own town and even in some of their own homes. RUDE!
Anyway, Kestrel was out gambling one day (she's pretty good at it) and her and her best friend, Jess end up at the slave market. Kestrel ends up buying a slave because of reasons and a lot of it was a set up for, reasons. <--- I love saying that in my book reviews.
Arin is an amazing blacksmith and he's working or Kestrel's household and there is something brewing there. Arin and Kestrel become friends, slowly but surely.
Kestrel plays the piano beautifully. BUT, her father wants her to go into the military. They have a rule that Valorians have to get married or join the military by age 21. RUDE! I mean good grief, these people don't have the lives they want, even though they are jerks for making slaves and killing people.
Then other things happen and there is a big war brewing, plots being made, etc . . . .
I loved Kestrel, Arin, Jess and Enai.
Kestrel wasn't a bad@ass, she even admitted she couldn't fight even though her father had her taking lessons for years. She just wanted to play her music and be left alone. But she was very smart and asked her father to let her started talking strategies and politics with him. If she's not bad@ssed on the fighting ground at least she has a brain to think up things better than these men. <-- Sorry boys.
Anyhoo, all of this helps her in the end but uggggggg, why? I don't like that ending and I hope she can get out of it but she's trying to keep everyone alive. We shall see.