Book Review

Review – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Seeing all the excitement about the upcoming release of the third book in this trilogy, and the recommendation of friends, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I borrowed this book from my library on Overdrive.

19415228Winning 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. (Goodreads)

I give The Winner’s Curse out of 5 stars. Given the chance I’ll read the second one, but it isn’t a story I’m ga-ga over.

Throughout the first 20% of this book, I seriously doubted my decision-making ability for picking up this book. The descriptions felt clunky and overbearing, and I felt no connection to the story. Luckily, when I picked the book up again the next day, the story seemed to have taken a turn for the better, and I mostly enjoyed the rest of it.

Arin’s plan was very clear early on, and Kestrel really just seemed like a spoiled noble with a soft spot for slaves and a mind for games.

I did find the world and the opposing cultures a bit interesting, but also a bit vague at times.

The last bit of the book seemed rushed, and I might have enjoyed a little bit more of a fleshed-out end to this part of the trilogy.

I’ve heard a lot of praise for Rutkoski’s writing style, but I didn’t particularly like it. There were moments of “oh that’s beautiful,” but overall it wasn’t anything I found remarkable.

All of this is not to say I can’t see how loved the story is, it just wasn’t awe-inspiring for me.

2 thoughts on “Review – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

  1. I too gave this book a 3/5. I felt the romance was strong while the side characters and slavery plot fell flat. But I have to say, the sequel – The Winner’s Crime – was amazing. It made me feel so many strong emotions and so, even though it really frustrated me at times, I enjoyed that one a lot more for being able to pull so much of a reaction out of me. I’m highly anticipating the conclusion this year so I can know how it all ends.

    Liked by 1 person

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