Review | The Winner’s Curse

First Installment in The Winner’s Trilogy
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 4, 2014 from Farrar Straus Giroux
Genre: YA fantasy
My Rating: 5/5

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.


So I’m going to be honest here. I gave this book a five star rating because when I finished it I thought it was well deserved. I still stand by my rating but it’s one of those books where you just have to ride with it. Now that I look back on it, there is many aspects that were perfectly fine for me but for other people it can be very irking. So if you go into this book with an open mind and just embrace it, you’ll most likely end up enjoying it.

I believe the biggest aspect that isn’t for everyone is the romance. It was well, not the most realistic. I also felt like it was just thrown together, which I ended up quite enjoying because I’m a sucker for doomed things that don’t make that much sense. I liked how the romance did have some progression and it wasn’t like ‘oh let’s just be together because underneath it all, I really really like you’ and then break out into a Carly Rae Jepsen music video. It had a fountain but then everything was just thrown together.

Something I really loved was the pacing of the story plot. I flew through this book and there wasn’t a dull moment which for me is really rare to come by. The plot was centered around the romance between Arin and Kestrel but it never lost the roots of the world, and what was going on politically. Since the main idea, this world is built on is slavery, it was a very political book. That side really sucked me into the story, and I was very interested in the outcome of it.

Now, on to the characters. Both Arin and Kestrel had sides that I loved and sides that I wanted to push off a cliff. They were two hardheaded people which makes for great strong characters but there were those times when they were just being irrational and I had to pause before reading on. Because it was just like ‘whyyyy!?!?’ I also felt like their personalities contradicted themselves, one moment they were able to understand where the other person was coming from and other times they couldn’t understand the other side at all. It’s hard to explain without spoiling anything. But yeah…

Pretty much overall, it was a great start to a series and I am very interested in what comes next. It seems like a hit or miss with this one, but it’s still worth the try.

( source )
it was quite wonderful

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