Review. . . The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Can I just even, with how ABSOLUTELY GORGE THIS COVER IS? like. I can't. I seriously can't. I'm a person that's huge into design, and this cover just really makes me happy. 

Anyways, here's the blurb:
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.
Five flakes! 

Wow. This story is just as beautiful as the cover itself. I absolutely adored this book, that I finished reading this instead of doing my homework.

The world created by Rutkoski is a fantasy world and well plotted, as readers are given an insight into culture and history. There are two groups of people touched on in the story, the Herrani and the Valorian. Arin is Herrani, a people conquered by the Valorian and now submit to them as slaves.

I adored the plot quite a bit, though I have heard some people say that they did not like the book because there was not much action. I do admit that there wasn't much action, but the book is more of a political intrigue type story that deals with strategy and cunning. I adore these types of stories, where the characters use their wits to solve problems and fight battles. If you like things like House of Cards, you would probably enjoy a story like The Winner's Curse.

The whole book has a running theme of The Winner's Curse and is touched upon several times throughout the novel, the Winner's Curse being that one wins, but by paying a steep price. And the fact that both Kestrel and Arin both have incredibly valid reasons for the things they do, it's difficult to know whether to root for the Herrani or the Valorian. And with the choices they make, Arin and Kestrel man, Arin and Kestrel. Ugh <3

The writing in this book, I find, is simply spectacular and lyrical. Here are some of my fave quotes from this novel:

"The notes were quick, limpid. They struggled with each other in gorgeous ways, like crosscurrents sea."

"He willed his mind to be frosted earth: hard and barren."

"She saw, yet again, that her friend's compliments were just bits of art and artifice. They were paper swans, cunningly folded so that they could float on the air for a few moments. Nothing more."

"She could have slept then. She wanted to. Sleep was blind, it was deaf, and it would take her away from this room and these men."

"She inhaled the cold air and willed herself to be like that breath. . .  a relentless, icy purity." 
Overall, this story was amazing and really captured my attention from beginning to end. I really can't wait for the next book in the series! NEED.

Happy Reading,  
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