Kestral's father is a general in the Valorian army. The Valorians are determined to continue to conquer other lands and peoples, as they have in the past. On a whim, Kestral buys a Herrani slave, Arin, and brings him home to work as a blacksmith. But she is strangely drawn to him, as he is to her.
Kestral lives in a home that was formerly a Herrani home. The Herranis were conquered many years ago, and those that weren't slaughtered now work mostly as slaves.
There is an undeniable chemistry between Kestral and Herrani, even though both of them know this is an impossible situation. Arin is hiding some big secrets from Kestral. Secrets that may cause her friends and family to come to harm.
The Winner's Curse contains a lot more details of these two races and their world, which make it all the more compelling. There is a revolt, and poison, and music, and maybe a kiss??? A lot to keep a reader's interest. The romance is irresistible, and the political situation puts you on pins and needles. The ending is satisfying, but leaves you anticipating the rest of the story.
The Winner's Curse is well crafted and I will highly recommend this to my teens. The second book, The Winner's Crime will be released in about a week, and I'm reading great things about it also.
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
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