Review: The Winner's Curse

12:00 AM Serena 2 Comments

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Rating: 5/5 stars
Part of a series? Yes! It's book one in The Winner's Trilogy
Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - The Book Depository

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.

The Winner's Curse was one of those books that I bought almost entirely because of the hype, and boy am I glad that I did! We're only a month into this year, and I can already say this is going to be one of my favorite reads of the year come the end of 2015. This book was crazy as well as crazy awesome, so I'll have to refrain from talking about all the twists and turns because this is definitely one you need to read for yourself. 

The world. I love the world this book takes place in. While it's obviously a fantasy world, it had a historical fictiony feel to it that I enjoyed. I also liked that it revolved around militaristic things (and women in the military!) because I haven't seen a lot of fantasy worlds based around its military. I also (that word again! Sorry, words are hard here!) actually found myself interested in the politics that comes with the military which surprised me because I didn't think I would be. 

The characters. Our MCs, Arin and Kestrel, are strong, fierce characters. Arin is strong both physically and mentally. He's been through such hardships in the twentyish (I think? I can't really remember.) years he's lived, so you know he has the mental strength to endure. He's a blacksmith and a soldier, so there's that physical strength. And muscle. Kestrel may not be the best fighter, but she's clever and excellent at playing games. They share a love for music which made me heart all sorts of happy. 

The romance. Oh my goodness gracious, I loved the romance between Arin and Kestrel. They're both so stubborn and proud, so it took them awhile but I do love them together. Watching their relationship progress was one of my favorite things about the novel. I am a bit worried about where the romance is going to go because of the ending (there was love triangle potential, and we know I don't do love triangles.), but I'm hoping it goes in the direction I want it to. The HEA direction, or at least somewhere near it. A girl can dream, right? 

The writing. TWC was written beautifully. The descriptions were vivid, the dialogue was witty, and the characters' inner monologues were engrossing. I loved being inside both Arin's and Kestrel's heads. Especially Arins because well, I'm already in love. 

I apologize for the all over the placeiness of this review, but it was just so hard to try and talk about all the things without talking about all the things. I so did not do the novel justice, so you need to pick up this book for yourself! 


  1. I want to read this book so badly! It's close to the top of my TBR :) I'm so glad you liked it! Favorite reads of the year huh?! Ooh you're review makes me want to read this even more.

    1. YES. Favorites! You should definitely read it soon, especially since the second book comes out next month! :)