The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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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.
Publisher: Westminster, Md. : Books on Tape ; [Prince Frederick, Md.] : [Distributed by] OneClick Digital, 2014, [2014]
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780804167857
Characteristics: 1 online resource (8 hr., 0 min.)
Additional Contributors: Eyre, Justine
Books on Tape, Inc

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JCLChrisK May 15, 2014

3.5 stars, rounded up. ----- I've been described as skeptical, cynical, and pessimistic. I've been described as compassionate, romantic, and optimistic. I like to think that both are true, just that the former is the outer barrier that guards the latter. I'm not much of a romance reader because very few of the romances I've tried have been able to penetrate that outer layer, and I end up feeling the romance in most of them is unrealistic, superficial, and cheesy. This one . . . almost made it through to my inner romantic. I never quite *felt* the love between Kestrel and Arin, but I was able understand, accept, and go with it. I certainly didn't find them infuriatingly, vapidly love struck, so when love started driving their decisions, made them question their loyalties and betray their identities, I thought it worked. ----- The characters are certainly placed in some difficult and complicated situations, so any romantic feelings they develop are going to be clouded and confused. It's all very realistically complex and nuanced, as are the cultures and the interesting world Rutkoski has built. This is a setting and story with depth. At times I felt the characters (major and minor) were inconsistent in ways that jarred me out of my immersion in the story, but most of the time they worked for me. Most importantly, once I was drawn into the book I didn't want to put it down and was always excited to pick it back up after I'd had to; that's why my rating gets rounded up. ----- One note about the audio: I felt the reader made some odd--and unpleasant--choices about the accents, voices, and dialogues, and was not at all enamored of her performance.


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