Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
on March 4, 2014
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Also in this series: The Winner's Crime
Also by this author: The Winner's Crime
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
5 Stars

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.

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.


2013 marked the end of a lot of my favorite series. That meant lots of holes in my heart, but thankfully Marie Rutkoski has written a new series to add to my favorites list. I hadn’t heard much about The Winner’s Curse when I received it, but after seeing all the advance buzz I quickly moved it to the top of my TBR pile. I’m so happy I did. This book was my first read of the year but I will wager that it will make my favorites list at the end of the year.

The Winner’s Curse is a sweeping fantasy novel with a heart wrenching romance. There were so many unexpected layers to the story. Marie Rutkoski really explores right and wrong and the gray area between. I loved seeing how far the characters would go for love and loyalty. The push and pull between Kestrel and Arin was remarkable.

There were no easy answers in The Winner’s Curse. Nothing was simple for these characters. I never knew how things were going to work out and I loved that. I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning.

I love a good high fantasy with intricate world building, but this world is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s very well fleshed out but not overly detailed. I look forward to learning more about it but I was very pleased with my first look.

I hope I’ve conveyed just how much I enjoyed The Winner’s Curse. It was a captivating a gorgeous story. I highly recommend it.

pi5You Might Also Like

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


  1. I’m in loooove with the gorgeous cover! <3
    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading recently posted..Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn & Tebak Secret SantaMy Profile

  2. I saw the amazing treatment that the ARC/proof was given… I’ve heard amazing stuff about this book and I’m hoping I love it as much as everyone else seems to! The cover is absolutely gorgeous. The concept sounds amazing. From your review it sounds like I’ll be joining the bandwagon, but we’ll have to see! Thanks for the review!
    Cass (Words on Paper) recently posted..[Book Tag] One DayMy Profile

  3. This cover is gorgeous, and the book sounds so interesting! I’m glad you loved it! I’ll have to keep it in mind.

  4. Love the cover for this one, it is so stunning. Love me some fantasy, am going to have to pick this one up at some point during the year.
    Sassy @ My Never Ending Pile recently posted..Book Review: Why We Took The Car by Wolfgang HerrndorfMy Profile

  5. Jessica @ a GREAT read says:

    Nice review! Been seeing a lot of this one when so many bloggers got it in the mail. Sadly, I didn’t receive it. It’s a totally new to me novel and the cover is gorgeous! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Will have to look into this one further as we get closer to the release date!

  6. Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Truly looking forward to find out more. Thanks :)
    Vocational Courses recently posted..5 Reasons Not To Go To CollegeMy Profile

  7. oh my goodness, this book sounds incredible! i love the cover!

  8. I saw the ARC copies from the other blogs…. It is very pretty. I get more excited every time I see good reviews too. I really want to read this. Thanks for the review 😀


  9. I just finished this last night! So good!

    I agree that nothing is simple for these peeps and I think that’s what makes the story so addicting! Well that, and the crazy good writing!
    Lisa is Busy Nerding recently posted..Review & Giveaway: Historical Heartthrobs Blog Tour!My Profile

  10. this sounds so different to anything i’ve read before. might have to add it to my amazingly long wishlist!
    Natalie@ Quirky Vintage recently posted..Update/Haul: Cyclones, Goals and some stuff I bought…My Profile

  11. I can’t wait to read this one, I don’t think I’ve read one negative review. Sweeping fantasy with heart-wrenching romance…sounds so good (hope it’s not too heart-wrenching, though). Great review!
    Pam@YAEscapefromReality recently posted..Mini-Reviews: Books Published Months AgoMy Profile

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