Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski 
Series: Winner's Trilogy #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/War/YA Romance
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Pages: Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Source: eLibrary
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

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. 


This book. Holy crap. This book was so good. I got this from a library and now I need to buy it so I can re-read it when ever I please.

In a way it took a little bit for me to get really interested in the character. The world and the setting, caught my attention right away. Kestrel and Arin were really great characters. So alike and so different at the same time. Their relationship was difficult from the start, in the best way possible. Neither trusted the other completely, but they both seemed to enjoy each others company and didn't want to admit it even to themselves.

Arin, I kind of expected him to be more than a slightly rebellious slave, but I was surprised to learn the details surrounding his sell at auction, that was the part that was the only thing I had a hard time grasping. It was just a little too convenient, and had too many variables that would make it difficult for the plan to guarantee he ended up where he did.

Kestrel while I did like her, it took me a little longer to like her than it did for me to be really interested in Arin. She was kind of almost this walking contradiction in a way. She loves strategy and is really good as reading people and finding their secrets just by observing. But she doesn't want to join the military even though her father is the General, and she doesn't want to get married... for reasons we aren't really given. She just wants to play her piano and ride her horse. At first she comes across as pretty selfish. But when you realize that she just wants to be free, you still hardly feel bad for her, her father keeps slaves and she is worried about being free to make her own choices, it's a little hypocritical. But as her and Arin's relationship grows, I started to like her more and more. So by the end of the book I saw her for what she was supposed to be; this really strong and smart person.

Most of the side characters, namely all of Kestrels friends were really annoying and I didn't really care for them. Jess was particularly annoying, and her brother was alright. He wasn't really in this book enough for me to get a good feel on him, but he did seem to genuinely care for Kestrel. The rest of them, their continued presence was almost pointless considering what happened to them.

The second half of this book was full of surprises and had me on the edge of my seat. Compared to the last 45% of the book the first half, while still really engaging and filled with great writing and world building with out info dumping, the second half was really enthralling and had me on the edge of my seat.

I already got the sequel from the eLibrary, so I am going to dive right into it, but I still need to own these books.


  1. I have been wanting to read this but the library does not have it. Hearing it is good has me considering trying to buy it.

    1. They are worth buying. :) As soon as I have the spare money to I plan on getting them. I might just wait til the third book is out, get the whole trilogy and re-read/marathon them.