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The winner's curse : a novel
2014
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Summary
<p> A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER </p> <p> Winning what you want may cost you everything you love <br> They were never meant to be together. As a general's daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can't help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.</p> <p>Set in a new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.</p>
Trade Reviews

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Kestrel is a pampered general's daughter who's chafing under the restrictions of her privileged position. With her love of music and an aversion to fighting, she's not the best role model in a society of conquering warriors. Arin is a slave, Kestrel's property, purchased in a fit of guilt during an outing with a friend. If spending an unseemly amount on Arin wasn't gossip fodder enough, being seen around town with the handsome blacksmith isn't helping. They forge an unlikely friendship that begins to buckle under the constraints of slavery, an impending revolution, and a love that no one can justify. Rutkoski's debut crafts a world of aristocrats and slaves that has few differences from standard medieval fare. While romance lovers will easily fall into the rhythm of the story, those looking for something new and different will find it a little flat and predictable. Collections light on historical romance may add the title with confidence, but those with a solid selection won't miss it.-Shanna Miles, South Atlanta High School (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

As 17-year-old Kestrel comes to know Arin, the Herrani slave she purchased on a whim, she puts both herself and him at risk. Arin, 19, also finds himself falling for this daughter of the Valorian general who conquered his homeland. A Herrani uprising briefly reverses their roles of owner and slave until the Valorian empire prevails, and a last-minute compromise by Kestrel may save Arin's life but it will make it impossible for them to be together. A refreshing change from supernatural and problem novels, this fantasy is pure romance (not sex) elevated above genre stereotypes by a talented author who understands pacing and satisfaction. Full-bodied characters explore issues of loyalty, class, and values (for example, arts versus military strengths), without sacrificing any of the relationship-related tension that is a hallmark of this kind of story. A tasty twist of an ending virtually locks readers in for subsequent entries in the series. Fans may want to revisit this one while they wait for future books; maybe get more than one copy?--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2014 Booklist
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