Review: The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

Posted January 23, 2015 by Andi in Books, Review / 16 Comments

Review: The Winner’s Curse – Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Published: March 4th 2014
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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.


I had no plans to read this book. I liked the pretty cover but that was about where it ended. The story didn’t grab my attention. But then something changed and I became curious about the book/series that everyone talks about. After questioning Twitter on what book I should read between two, I got 100% results for The Winner’s Curse. And thus began my journey of agonizing love of this series and I can now say I get the hype.

The Winner’s Curse is the story of Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel is the daughter of a highly ranked general. Kestrel has two options at her age, she can marry or join the military. Only Kestrel wants more. She has a love of music that can’t be denied. And when Kestrel ends up at a slave auction for a slave, Arin, that can sing she does something that alters her life and the lives around her, she buys Arin. But she is in for more than she bargained for with the handsome slave. Suddenly Arin is teaching her a new way to think about things and Kestrel is questioning everything she believed. The problem is that Arin has a dark secret, a secret that once found out will change everything for both him and Kestrel and everything they ever knew.

What does one even say about this book?? I’m at a loss for words. It was nothing I expected yet everything I loved. It had tension and secrets and lies and romance and attraction and fighting. It had a struggle against rules and laws and backgrounds. It had women with limited choices but refused to bend. It had great world building and an interesting clash of classes. Basically it had everything and I almost didn’t read it. The relationship between Kestrel and Arin was amazing. The push and pull and uncertainty. The major shift that changes everything. Basically perfection. And that end, what to say about that end other than GAH!!

All I can really say that hasn’t been said (okay, it probably has but whatever!) don’t be like me and miss out on this one. It was such a great story. I was purposefully vague about it to not give anything away. It is a fascinating take on classes and war and love. It is a book you just need to read and enjoy. And then become mere mortals like the rest of us clamoring for book two.


Out March 3, 2015
Out March 3, 2015


Stay tuned tomorrow and find out what I would pay too much for!


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16 responses to “Review: The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

  1. I’m totally with you on the first impressions/intentions with this book. The cover is so gorgeous but the plot summary didn’t really jump out at me that much. I think the hype surrounding it is definitely making me reconsider, but usually hype doesn’t work for me haha. We’ll see! I plan to give this one a shot at some point.

    Lauren at Bookmark Lit recently posted: Review: Princess of Thorns
  2. Ah, The Winner’s Curse! To be honest, the first time I read it (which was before release last year), I liked it but wasn’t as enamored as everyone else. And the second time I read it (which was late last year), it was better but still not amazing. I definitely see why everyone loves it though! (And to be honest, I got suckered in by The Winner’s Crime, which was amaaaaazing and you MUST read it.)

    Alexa S. recently posted: A New Home
    • andiabcs

      I have actually read the 2nd book now and loved it more than the first. Such a great series. Can’t wait for the 3rd especially after seeing the title.

  3. Arlinda

    This is one of those books I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I enjoyed the first book and want to see how the story continues to develop. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 🙂

  4. “Basically it had everything and I almost didn’t read it. ”
    If that wasn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what is. This book has been on my TBR pile since I saw its gorgeous cover online but I only have the digital copy. I haven’t read it yet since I thought my reading experience will be better if I read the physical copy. I’m glad you decided to read this in the end and liked it because I want more people to like it so I can be pushed to read it too.

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