Author: Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski | Book Review

Posted March 12, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 8 Comments

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski | Book ReviewThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: Winner's Trilogy #1
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux on March 4, 2014
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4 Stars

In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.

Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I read The Winner’s Curse MONTHS ago. I’m not kidding. Almost 5 months ago, actually. And I have been mulling this book over in the back of my mind ever since. And I am so distraught, because during all these months of mulling I still have no idea what to write. None. I’m hoping that things will come to me as I write now, and that hopefully I will have some sort of epiphany. Now, don’t get me wrong. I did not dislike this book. I loved it! And that’s why I’m so perplexed as to why I can’t figure out what to say about it. Normally if I love a book I go crazy and fangirlie and have SO much to say that I can’t organize it and end up feeling like a babbling idiot. This time, though, I’m experiencing something completely different. I loved it, yet I have no idea how to tell you why. I’m going to try here, and I’m going to let things flow. No numbered and bolded lists this time! This is going to be a complete brain dump.

  • I love the idea of a girl saving a boy for once. Kestrel purchases Arin, a slave, at an auction. And she does it because he is musical. What a unique way to begin a story.
  • Things started out really slow for me. I was honestly terrified that I was missing something because I was seeing all these raving reviews, and I was just not on board at all. Things change, though, and as I read more I became entranced.
  • I love that Kestrel is smart. She has so much power within her mind, which makes her strong in a way that is not usually written about. She is strong mentally instead of physically.
  • Arin is swoony in a very understated and mysterious way. He observes and watches from the sidelines. I love that about him. He is also very intelligent, and challenges Kestrel. I love the tension this creates.
  • I know that there is some romance that is just barely beginning to bloom. There’s no instalove, but there is definite interest. Kestrel and Arin watch each other. They are figuring each other out. And when they start to realize that they are being discovered by one other, the intrigue grows. I just get this feeling that neither of them is used to being at the forefront of someone’s mind. They are both quiet and broody and smart. They are so good for each other, even though society views them are being very far apart.
  • I’m not usually a fan of politics, but they worked for me here.
  • The writing is very pretty. The story is beautifully told.
  • I cannot WAIT to learn more about these characters. I am hoping for lots of details in the next two books, because I want to become even more invested in their lives.

Wow. I think this review is full of fail. Haha! I have never had such a hard time getting my thoughts out. I just know I loved this book, and I guess that will have to be good enough. I just loved it, ok!?!?!

Anyone want to help me out here? What did you think of The Winner’s Curse? And please help me feel better by telling me I am not the only person who has loved a book just because they loved it!! Has this happened to you before?

4 Stars