“The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”
Kestrel, a daughter of a respectable general, impulsively purchases Arin on a slave auction. But her newly acquired slave might not be who she thinks he is.
The writing style is beautiful, but simple. It made me enjoy this much so much more.
Kestrel is a part of Valorian aristocracy. The author tries to portray her as really smart, kind and compassionate… but she fails miserably. She is completely incapable of critical thinking. The thought that there might be something wrong about the fact that she lives in a mansion that belonged to the people who are now her slaves doesn’t cross her mind even once. Yes, she freed her nurse, but only because she felt grateful. And she feels bad for Arin, but only because she has the hots for him.
On the other hand I really liked Arin. Until the end when he became frustratingly dumb. But I expected nothing else from YA book with “forbidden romance”. I think he is a very interesting character and he has a lot of potential.
I firmly believe that there is no such thing as consesual romance between master and a slave. However that is not what this book portrays. The power dynamic between the two main characters is constantly shifitng and that makes this book really interesting.
I was enjoying myslef while reading this book. But when I finished it, I tried to recall the storyline and I realised that actually almost nothing happens in this book until the last 100 pages.
I knew absolutely nothing starting this book. And by the time I reached page 10 I already knew that Kestrel and Arin were going to fall in love with eachother. And it made me put this book down and I almost DNFed it. I think that portraying master/slave romance as “forbidden love” or “star-crossed lovers” is disgusting. That’s why I was never able to read The Captive Prince.
I am glad that I decided to give this book a chance and continue reading. This story turned out to be actually something completely different from what I expected.
However, I firmly believe that a book that talks about slavery needs to criticize it. And I feel like The Winner’s Curse didn’t do a really good job with that. Arin delivers 2 or 3 lines about the fact that he and his people are treated like property. But there was really nothing more than that.