Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

16069030The Winner’s Curse
(The Winner’s Trilogy, #1)
By: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Published: March 4, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy

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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.


1thoughtsI was so excited to read this one. There was so much hype around it. The title grabs your focus and the synopsis captivates you. I mean, we’re talking about the General’s daughter purchasing a slave at a market. Which is kind of ironic since she had talked her father into freeing her nanny when she was younger. Add to that the fact that these two develop feelings for each other and you have a winner. Only, I was left feeling meh at the end.

The author has a great way of telling a story. Ironically for the lackluster storyline, I was never bored. I mean, we literally sit through day to day life with Kestrel. She gossips with her friends, attends parties and turns down potential suitors. Meanwhile, she’s harboring a crush on her new slave. The same slave who has been nothing but rude and insubordinate since she purchased him. The fact that we follow her daily life was both interesting and then not. I wish there was more excitement or just something. Instead we watch her play games, walk the grounds and lollygag with her best friend.

Arin was an interesting character. He was enslaved when he was a young boy after the war ended. The war where Kestrel’s people invaded their land, killed their people and enslaved those who weren’t killed in the invasion. He’s been sitting and waiting for a moment to take back his homeland, and getting purchased by the General’s daughter couldn’t have been more perfect. However, he starts trying to set forth his plan while protecting Kestrel at the same time, and well, lets just say that doesn’t work out so well.

This is primarily a love story. There are a lot of things that happen that just don’t make much sense. Like, for instance, if you know the guy you love is going to kill your friends and family… how can you still love them? And on that note, if you were plotting to kill the one you love’s family and friends, how can you expect things to just carry on like you didn’t just betray them? I questioned a lot of what Arin and Kestrel did. So if all you’re looking for is simply a romance and nothing more than that then you will probably enjoy this. However, I was actually looking for something a little more. Something with some oomph to it like Poison Study or Fire. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. There wasn’t any kick-assery or intense fighting scenes. There was no grittiness. It was just very tame. Too tame considering the contents of the story.


1favequote“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”


2 Thoughts on “Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

  1. I do like this book, and I’m glad you did too. You have a point that it was tame at times, yet still entertaining.

    Great review 🙂

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

  2. thanks for the honest review. I’ve really been thinking about this one. and I really just can’t decide. It sounds really interesting but I’m not very big on romance unless there’s a really good or thrilling story involve. thanks for the heads up, I’m definitely keeping that in mind if ever I decide to read this one 🙂

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