Tuesday 1 March 2016

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

Source: Received an egalley from the publisher for an honest review.
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: Already Released!
Number of Pages: 355 (Hardcover)

Description 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.
I meant to post this full review a long time ago, so with the final book in the trilogy right around the corner, here it finally is!

Right from the very first page of THE WINNER'S CURSE, I was hooked! The world-building, the characters, the story, and writing were all absolutely wonderful, and I loved every single moment! I loved the chemistry between the main characters, Arin and Kestrel! I loved it all so much and I thought it was amazing!

I loved Kestrel right away, and as soon as Arin was introduced, I was completely intrigued. They're extremely strong characters, and they complement one another perfectly. I loved that they were both willing to fight for what they believe in and they never stopped trying to protect their loved ones. I also loved the chemistry between Arin and Kestrel! I won't lie, I love it when books have a romantic element, so I thoroughly enjoyed the romance in The Winner's Curse, but I also really loved that the romance fit so well into the narrative. It provides a dimension to both Arin's and Kestrel's character, and as they grow closer, they open up and we learn so much more about both of them.

Along with the fantastic characters, the world-building is superb! I loved learning more about Kestrel and Arin's world, and the dynamics between the different countries was extremely interesting. While on the surface, the story might seem to focus on the forbidden romance between Arin and Kestrel, it's so much bigger than that. It encompasses a growing rebellion, political tensions, family legacies, and the difficulty in choosing your own path in life.

Overall, I LOVED The Winner's Curse. I loved the story, the world-building, the chemistry between the characters⎯absolutely EVERYTHING! If you like fantasy books with historical elements and some good ol' forbidden romance then you will LOVE this trilogy!

What do you think?
Have you started The Winner's Trilogy yet?


  1. Great review! I loved The Winner's Curse too! I loved the characters and the world that Rutkoski created. I can't wait for the Winner's Kiss!

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

    1. Thanks, Traci!!! :D I'm glad you loved it, too!! It's one of my favourite trilogies!!! And I agree, the world-building and characters are amazing!!! Yay!!! I was lucky enough to get access to an egalley through Netgalley and it was AMAZING!!! I hope you love it, too!

  2. Awesome review^^ I was gifted this book by a blogger friend last Christmas but I have yet to read it. I'm planning on fixing that soon and your review just got me even more excited to see what the fuss is all about :D

    1. Thank you, Micheline!!! :D Oh, yay!!! Good plan!! Now that the third book is almost out, you won't have to wait either. ;) haha I hope you love it as much as I did!

  3. I need to read this sooo badly. I hear there's a lot of political conflicts in the plot and I love that.

    1. You do!!!!! It does! And quite a bit of military strategy, which I found really neat! :D I think you'd really enjoy it, Jen!

  4. Huh, that explains why my impression was that you had read this one a long while ago and yet I couldn't remember specifically what your thoughts on it were. I'm glad you're sharing them here now and that they're very positive! Unlike you, I'm not a huge romance fan so I would say the world building intrigues me the most. BUT I do appreciate an especially high-chemistry romance from time to time :)

    1. Yup! I don't know why I didn't post my review ages ago, but at least I got to it eventually. ;) haha They're extremely positive!! This is hands down one of my favourite trilogies!! I think you'd enjoy the world building, and hopefully the romance, too! ;D


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