Tuesday, December 30

Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Marie Rutkoski

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: July 3, 2014
Date Read: December 21, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
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From Goodreads:
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.

The Winner's Curse is without a doubt the most frustrating book I have ever read. I had been dying to read this book since I first heard about it. It sounded to intriguing and interesting and look at that cover... it's beautiful. I had heard such great things about this book and after finishing this book I can't help but think and feel like I'm just missing something. Did I read a different book to everyone else?

The Winner's Curse is the story of Kestrel. Kestrel has a mighty choice on her hands. She must decide whether she should marry or join the military. But Kestral can't help but think that there must be something more than those choices. And as Kestral grows closer to the forbidden slave Kestral knows that she wants to choose neither. But can she follow her heart or is there something more dangerous destined for her?

I so, so, so wanted to love this book. I am such a massive fan of YA Fantasy books and this one sounded amazing. Marie Rutkoski's writing style is absolutely fantastic. It is so easy to get lost in the story and her characterisation and world-building skills are phenomenal! This just makes me wish I had liked this book more.

The characters were pretty good. I really liked Kestral, she is all kinds of awesome and kick-ass and defiance. I loved that. She was a fantastic protagonist to follow. Arin on the other hand I just didn't get. I didn't like him... like AT ALL! He was rude, arrogant and just all round an arsehole! I didn't find anything likable for him and when he is the lead male character that is a problem. I found myself loving Kestral's best friends brother Ronan way more. He was sweet, attentive and just wonderful. Why couldn't she like him? Probably because that wouldn't have been a very 'fantasy action-packed, forbidden-love' story! The only time I liked Arin was right at the very end.

My main problem with this book is nothing happened... like at all! Until maybe 250 pages in. As I've mentioned the writing is fantastic and I liked the majority of the characters but absolutely nothing happened for the majority of the book. I was just plodding along getting through pages as fast as I could bored out of my mind waiting for something to happen. All I kept thinking was something has got to happen! Right? Well it did... in the last 100 pages. And those pages were fantastic! I loved the ending... it was great! But it should not have taken that long for something to happen. The ending really showed me that Marie can write a great story but it took 250 pages to get there and I shouldn't have had to wait that long. Honestly if I hadn't have had the second book in this series for review then I wouldn't have even finished it. I normally DNF books at aroung 100 pages if I am bored... and the shame is that the ending was fantastic!

The Winner's Curse was very much a let down for me, but the ending was great. And it is the ending alone why I am continuing with the series and reading book 2. I really hope that it is better than this one because I was so disappointed with this.


  1. I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I know with this series it's either hit or miss for most.

  2. I feel exactly the same. I will be reading the second book just because of those last pages

  3. This is one I've considered getting but haven't. I think this will be a library pickup for me.

  4. I'm slightly worried now cause this book is fairly high up my want to read list!


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