Kestrel is the piano-playing daughter of a general in this YA fantasy offering, book one of the three in the “Winner’s Trilogy”. Kestrel’s father, the Valorian General Trajan, is frustrated with his daughter who shows no inclination to join the army or marry. Still stinging from the early death of her mother and the slave woman who raised her, Kestrel ends up making an impulsive purchase when she bids on a male slave, making her the recipient of the “winner’s curse” of the title. She and the slave, Arin, bond over games of chance and music but as the political winds shift and others seize power, Kestrel and Arin’s relationship will be tested under life or death circumstances.
Generally, I have mixed feelings about YA fiction, and this book proved no different. The created world is rooted in Greco-Roman history, so the world itself is very easy to acclimate yourself to – it feels very familiar. Kestrel is a typical rebellious teenager who bites off more than she can chew and falls in love with the enemy. She’s an interesting heroine but the writing feels cliched and the events are anything but unpredictable. A great escape and fast read, but don’t expect anything whatsoever in the way of plot twists.
Amazon link is here.