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The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Trilogy

Marie Rutkoski

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

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.

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.
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

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.

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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1
 
 
She shouldn’t have been tempted.
This is what Kestrel thought as she swept the sailors’ silver off the impromptu gaming table set up in a corner of the market.
“Don’t go,” said one sailor.
“Stay,” said another, but Kestrel cinched her wrist-strap velvet purse shut. The sun had lowered, and caramelized the color of things, which meant that she had played cards long enough to be noticed by someone who mattered.
Someone who would tell her father.
Cards wasn’t even her favorite game. The silver wouldn’t begin
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  • THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski Book Trailer

    Watch the trailer for The Winner's Curse, book 1 in The Winner's Trilogy.

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REVIEWS

Praise for The Winner's Curse

*"[A] spellbinding first book in a trilogy about a pair of star-crossed lovers in a society marred by class warfare....Like any epic page-turner worth its salt, Rutkoski’s richly imagined world is full of dynamic repartee, gruesome battle scenes, and shifting alliances. A high-stakes cliffhanger will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
 
*"Rich characterization, exquisite worldbuilding and rock-solid storytelling make this a fantasy of unusual intelligence and depth...Precise details and elegant prose make this world fresh and vivid. The intricate and suspenseful plot, filled with politics, intrigue and even graphic violence, features neither heroes nor villains; every character displays a complex mixture of talents, flaws and motives...Breathtaking, tragic and true." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

*"A forbidden romance. The romance is heartstoppingly lovely and admittedly steamy . . . but the raising of stakes and the reluctance of the couple to give up their respective cause, even as they confess their love for each other, lends their relationship a complexity not often seen in the genre . . . A last-minute compromise between the lovers secures a sequel, and fans of Kristin Cashore and Robin Lefevers will be pleased to have a new romance to follow." -- BCCB, STARRED REVIEW

“Every line in The Winner’s Curse is beautifully written. The story is masterfully plotted. The characters’ dilemmas fascinated me and tore at my heart. This book gave me a rare and special reading experience: I never knew what was going to happen next. I loved it. I want more.” —Kristin Cashore, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm books
 
"The Winner's Curse is breathtaking, a lyrical triumph in YA fantasy. Marie Rutkoski writes with tremendous power and has created an epic of fearless beauty. This book should not be missed."--Ann Aguirre, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Razorland trilogy
 
"The Winner's Curse is magnificent.  Gorgeous writing graces every page, and the story of Kestrel and Arin unfolds with all the complexity and beauty of a sonata.  I was completely transfixed by them and their world." --Sarah Beth Durst, author of Conjured
*"[A] spellbinding first book in a trilogy about a pair of star-crossed lovers in a society marred by class warfare....Like any epic page-turner worth its salt, Rutkoski’s richly imagined world is full of dynamic repartee, gruesome battle scenes, and shifting alliances. A high-stakes cliffhanger will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
 
*"Rich characterization, exquisite worldbuilding and rock-solid storytelling make this a fantasy of unusual intelligence and depth...Precise details and elegant prose make this world fresh and vivid. The intricate and suspenseful plot, filled with politics, intrigue and even graphic violence, features neither heroes nor villains; every character displays a complex mixture of talents, flaws and motives...Breathtaking, tragic and true." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

*"A forbidden romance. The romance is heartstoppingly lovely and admittedly steamy . . . but the raising of stakes and the reluctance of the couple to give up their respective cause, even as they confess their love for each other, lends their relationship a complexity not often seen in the genre . . . A last-minute compromise between the lovers secures a sequel, and fans of Kristin Cashore and Robin Lefevers will be pleased to have a new romance to follow." -- BCCB, STARRED REVIEW

“Every line in The Winner’s Curse is beautifully written. The story is masterfully plotted. The characters’ dilemmas fascinated me and tore at my heart. This book gave me a rare and special reading experience: I never knew what was going to happen next. I loved it. I want more.” —Kristin Cashore, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm books
 
"The Winner's Curse is breathtaking, a lyrical triumph in YA fantasy. Marie Rutkoski writes with tremendous power and has created an epic of fearless beauty. This book should not be missed."--Ann Aguirre, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Razorland trilogy
 
"The Winner's Curse is magnificent.  Gorgeous writing graces every page, and the story of Kestrel and Arin unfolds with all the complexity and beauty of a sonata.  I was completely transfixed by them and their world." --Sarah Beth Durst, author of Conjured

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Marie Rutkoski

  • Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Shadow Society and the Kronos Chronicles, which includes The Cabinet of Wonders. She is a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in New York City. Kristin Cashore, the author of Graceling, says about her new book The Winner's Curse, “Every line in The Winner’s Curse is beautifully written. The story is masterfully plotted. The characters’ dilemmas fascinated me and tore at my heart. This book gave me a rare and special reading experience: I never knew what was going to happen next. I loved it. I want more.” 
  • Marie Rutkoski Stephen Scott Gross
    Marie Rutkoski
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READING GUIDE

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Discussion Guide
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Trilogy

Marie Rutkoski

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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