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The Winner's Curse

Book 1, The Winner's Trilogy

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.



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.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 06, 2014 – Fans of Rutkoski's Kronos Chronicles will devour this spellbinding first book in a trilogy about a pair of star-crossed lovers in a society marred by class warfare. When 17-year-old Kestrel, daughter of an esteemed Valorian general, pays too steep a price for a Herrani slave at auction, the audacious maneuver reveals more than just a lapse in judgment. What Kestrel doesn't know is that Arin is really a spy for Herrani rebels plotting to overthrow the Valorian empire. On equally deceptive footing, Arin manipulates Kestrel's trust to mine her for military secrets while Kestrel uses Arin to deflect attention from unwanted suitors. As their relationship unwittingly evolves from master and servant into one of guarded mutual respect (and blush-worthy sexual tension), the two are torn between loyalty to their peoples and traditions and a love that can never be realized. 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. Ages 12 up.

Customer Reviews

Page Turner

I rarely write reviews, but this book was so good, I couldn't put it down. The heroine is admirable and the romance is sweet without being inappropriate. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!


Amazing book, amazing plot, amazing characters, amazing series!

Must Read.

It's definitely a 5/5 star book, and although I'd love to go into detail with every reason why you should pick it up, I'd really not do it justice. This book (and its sequel) is devastatingly beautiful, and simply devastating. It shocks, it keeps you reeled in, and it makes you hunger for so much more.

Other Books in This Series

The Winner's Curse
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 7-13
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Published: Mar 04, 2014
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, The Winner's Trilogy
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings