The Winner's Curse

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

The Winner's Curse

by Marie Rutkoski

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) | March 4, 2014 | Hardcover

The Winner's Curse is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 5.
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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.35 × 6.33 × 1.27 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374384673

ISBN - 13: 9780374384678

save 27%

  • In stock online

$15.19  ea

Online Price

$19.99 List Price

or, Used from $8.19

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best Historical Read I've Read Since 'A Mad Wicked Folly!' The worst thing that I care to admit: I hate historical fiction. It's basically the only genre that I hate that's been given so many chances by ME. But of course, although I hate it so much, I still love to pick up those books that fall in the genre and have gorgeous covers. And obviously, you can see that I've picked this one up, and really liked it, according to the star rating system. Marie Rutkoski has really made me proud to read this book. It had the mixture of many genres all in one, and it didn't give us loads of info-dumping, which I cannot stand in books. The Winner's Curse was one of those books that you will want to read every single paragraph, over and over again to catch every detail and feeling, because it's just that good. This story all begins with Kestrel, the general's daughter, going off into the village, where she's not supposed to be in. There, she finds a young male slave ready to be auctioned. Kestrel ends up buying the slave but all she doesn't know is that she's going to fall in love with him. Kestrel has a choice: to be married or join the war. Either way, it's a tough decision, and it's all said with one word. Kestrel spent this whole book trying to find out who she is and what she wants her life to be. And she had to go through some tough decisions. It's not easy when you're stuck in the situation that she was stuck in. I guess you could say that that was the point and concept of the book, but it was also about her and Arin's tough relationship. A slave and a general's daughter falling in love? Hmm... probably not so easy to deal with in their world. Kestrel was a wise, willing character. I've read reviews that have noted that she was stuck-up and selfish, but I think otherwise. Kestrel had a capability in her that most protagonists don't show that fast in the novel or sequence. She was kick-ass and didn't care what the other characters thought of her. She just could blast her country off the Earth's surface and still could be walking out of there like a boss. I had issues with Arin. This time around (which rarely ever occurs with fictional men) I didn't like him. He was so rude most of the time and acted like he was the "boss" around. He thought that he was the best around and treated Kestrel like a loser. If you don't treat a girl right, The romance in this book was real cute, though. "If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it. It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash. The secret she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know." In the end, I realized that Kestrel and Arin had a connection that most people don't have with each other. They understood each other and had an insta-love that was too powerful to tear apart. Together, they could rule the fictional world, right next to Tris and Four. :') The other flaw that this book had was the plot. It was kind of slow through the middle, but I had a bigger problem with Arin. Nothing could beat my anger with that man. Grr. But overall, this book was great. I recommend it to lovers of Game of Thrones, although I didn't get to read that yet. It has a medieval/dystopia feel to it and is very unique compared to others. I am looking forward to the thrilling sequel!
Date published: 2014-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The cover for The Winner's Curse is pretty (YES, it is) but it doesn't do the story justice at all. This story is, in a few words, devastating, gripping, and thrilling! I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I finished reading it. I've just been pining away for more! The Winner's Curse is a low fantasy read, ideal for those who like a little bit of political intrigue and a great setting in their books. Reasons to Read: 1. Low fantasy at its best: I love (all) fantasy books and while I prefer high fantasy, The Winner's Curse is a one of the best low fantasy books I've ever read. (Sidenote: I'm putting The Winner's Curse in the low fantasy category because while it's a fictional world, the way the world works is rational and real and doesn't contain magical or impossible elements). There's less suspension of belief for readers, which is fantastic for readers who are less interested by magic. While the world is fictional there are some aspects which reminded me of other historical settings. 2. Oh my, swoons!: Do you like your romance to be epic?! Pick up The Winner's Curse - trust me. While the romance takes centre stage in this story, it also wasn't sappy or ridiculous. I was absolutely swept away by Arin and Kestrel and I couldn't get enough of these two. Most of all I loved how they tried to figure each other out, but still remained their rational thinking. And the tension just dragged on forever! So much tension that just wouldn't go away and it was brilliant. I liked Kestrel so much - she stood out on her own and had a vivid personality. She was such a clever girl, yet she had her own faults and she had to overcome those and work with it. But overall, Kestrel is an incredibly strong heroine. 3. An explosive story: I couldn't get enough of the politics and culture incorporated in The Winner's Curse. I was enthralled by these little details, and I'm dying to know what happens to this world in the next book. The plot development was my absolute favourite part of this book! It is beautifully written and the story is so captivating. I am dreaming about this book, its characters, and its world. I cannot let it go. I'm in love with it too much. The characters are flawed which is good, but this also means they aren't instantly likeable. My appreciation for them only grew over time as the story progressed and I was skeptical of Kestrel, in particular, at first. There were also a couple subplots that didn't seem to influence the main plot; maybe they'll come up in later books, but they didn't seem particularly relevant for this book. The Winner's Curse was one of my favourite books released this year so far. I've rarely felt so invested in a book series before, and I have such high hopes for the next one! The situation Arin and Kestrel are put in is so difficult as they're both forced to question values and beliefs they've held for such a long time - The Winner's Curse is reading for that alone. ARC received from Macmillan for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from MajiBookshelf The Winner’s Curse is one of the most hyped books for this winter of 2014. I am pretty sure every single book blogger and book tuber has heard about this book, read it, or already pre-ordered it (and received it!). Initially it took me a while to get to a place where I started to enjoy The Winner's Curse. The 3rd POV writing isn't my favorite way of storytelling and I initially actually thought there was a third person in the scene. However Once I got used to it and all the characters were introduced and we got a bit of background history on the world, I stated to really enjoy it. This is about a territory that was invaded by the Volarians that resulted in the enslavement of the Herrani people. Kestrel, the daughter of the General Trajan, has to make a decision soon, whether to join the army or get married. She has a knack for strategizing and her father has tried multiple times to recruit her to the army but she wants neither. She wants to choose her own future. This is when she meets Arin, a slave she buys on a whim and takes back to her father's home. If you are expecting a typical predictable romance then you'll be pleasantly surprised. This is more than the romance and I loved that about this book. Kestrel is such a strong character and she is a smart one too. Also, the incorporation of music into the novel brought something unique and delicate to a novel that would otherwise be a bit dark and depressing, which book wouldn't with the topic of slavery and non existent women rights? I have read one book by Rutkoski before and it didn't blow me away or capture my attention the whole time, this however did just that. I wanted to know what would happen next. None of my predictions were correct and this is something that I loved. I am tired of predictable novels and even ones that have a "shocking twist" when in fact it was a twist that was obvious. Also, the ending? wow.. it blew me away. I seriously need the second book immediately! I have no idea what direction Rutkoski is taking with the next novel but I am excited to dive back into this complex and fascinating world she has created.
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written This book was amazing! This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year!! I can't believe I have to wait another year for book 2!!! After everything that was happening my anticipation is through the roof due to the ending. Krestel and Arin were characters you see and have all the feels for over the course of the novel. This is my first book that I have read by Marie and I am now a fan because the writing was beautiful.  Marie has created a fascinating world that hooked me from the beginning of the page. I already heard amazing things about it before reading it so there was high expectations that it exceed them when I read it. The beginning was slow but it set up the book perfectly. There was action, suspense and romance. Krestrel our main character is a Valorian and is also the daughter of General Trajan. She is easy to like, passionate and is easy to relate to. It opens up as Krestrel and her best friend Jess are out shopping when they come upon a Herrani slave auction, and here we meet Smith (Arin)  who is bitter, can supposedly sing. Krestrel makes many moves throughout the book. I really liked her and the fact they she loves music  rather than follow in her fathers footsteps.  The story was flawlessly beautiful that while you are reading you can picture the setting and the hints of the society. The romance between Krestrel and Arin through the book was one of my favorites because it started off slow and my anticipation for them was through the roof!! Arin's character is complex, smart and strong willed. These two are perfect for each other even when he is her slave. The chemistry is tender and makes your heart melt (Bite and Sting) and many other scenes.  As the story is inspired by the Greco- Roman period is focuses on the Valorian empire. It is set after the Herrani War and the enslavement of their people. The Valorians fueled the plot and its also seen through cultural and power are still remaining in The Winner's Curse. The Valorians focus more on war while the Herrani are remembered for their literature and art. I loved being in this world and with the way Marie put everything together we are just at the beginning. Even the ending made it interesting and made me crave for more. The Winner's Curse is one book everyone must read! I want the next book ASAP. Its story was constructed, and written beautifully. It has the perfect amount of intrigue, romance and definitely a lot of emotion was happening near the end. I am still thinking about it from those last final pages.. This is officially one of my favorite books of the year. 
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Swept Away By Books Although it had a slower start for me, I was totally hooked right from the opening pages of this richly imagined world, where a beautiful relationship blooms despite the political turmoil that is inescapable in a world full of deceit, lies and slavery. I really loved this incredible story of love in a time when two people from entirely different social statuses beat the odds and fall in love. And while The Winner's Curse doesn't necessarily have a happily ever after in the traditional sense, it sets up the rest of the series perfectly.  I had a hard time connecting with Kestrel, our leading lady, in the first hundred or so pages of the book. She was a spoiled girl who took a fancy in a young man being sold as a slave. The only thing that really fascinated me about her was her love of music in a society where it was considered gauche to actually play any instrument, reminiscent of the days when Herrani, the people whose country the Valorians had overtaken, played music and revelled in art and beauty. I loved this little defiant spark in Kestrel, that spoke to the side of her who empathized with the enslaved Harrani. Arin was a character I admired right away. Despite his being a slave, he still had an innate respect for himself, and never fully took his orders without showing his disdain, even in the most minute ways. The romance between Arin and Kestrel was discreet, and never fully fleshed out. It was full of stolen glimpses, quiet but intense moments and swoon worthy lines that had me going crazy for a little more. Full of high society balls, lies and deceit, stolen moments in secret places, as well as being absolutely beautifully written, The Winner's Curse is a brilliant first book in a new trilogy that everyone should read!
Date published: 2014-02-24

– More About This Product –

The Winner's Curse

by Marie Rutkoski

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.35 × 6.33 × 1.27 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374384673

ISBN - 13: 9780374384678

From the Publisher

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.

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart