The Winner's Trilogy, Book 1
Description (taken from Marie Rutkowski's website):
Winning what you want might 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.
In this world, everything is a game. And it's all about winning. But you never know what's at stake until you've lost it.
Kestrel, a Valorian, lives in a peninsula that was once ruled by the Herrani. Nowadays, the Herrani have been conquered by the Valorians, and they are kept as slaves. Being the general's daughter, Kestrel has lived an easy life and learned not to question things. Her only worries are whether to enlist as a soldier or to marry someone. But on the day of a slave auction, Kestrel will find she has bought more than she bargained for.
Arin, a Herrani, has spent the last ten years enslaved. And he is ready to see his people freed. He will do anything to free them. But a chance meeting with Kestrel, and his world turns upside down. What will he do to protect the beautiful things in his life? How can he cope with calling a Valorian beautiful?
I guess I should have picked up on this from the description (or read reviews thoroughly), but this book is a massive love story. It's like pure romance with a dash of fantasy... Don't get me wrong; this book is a wonderful telling of a love story. But it's just different. I don't know how I feel about this even after finishing the book.
An excellent story to be told. And I hear others really enjoyed this book. As long as you're okay with the pure romance part, then you'll probably enjoy this one.