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

16069030Winning 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.

4 stars

My gods this book was amazing. giphy2

How do I begin? I’ve been needing a new fantasy series to fall in love with and this is looking to be one of them. Thank you Michelle, found this series reading through one of her posts on Book Hangovers. Texted her to send me the ebooks minutes later, then I finished the book within two days. And it only took me that long because I didn’t have time to just sit down and read until it was finished.

Either way, beginning. Hmm.

Characters. Kestrel. She makes me so happy and so conflicted and damn she is amazing. giphy3
I could not get over learning about her. She’s a smart, strategic character that knows her weaknesses as much as her strengths. Kestrel was resourceful and made use of what she had. Her situation in this world was enticing because of her internal conflict for what she knows is wrong, but isn’t really in a position to change.

She has an interesting perspective on life and the world that makes her intriguing and relatable. Down to the bone, I see her as a realist and as one myself, I love seeing it in her.

Plus with lines like this, how can someone not find her and Rutkoski amazing.

“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”


“She reminded herself bitterly that this was what curiosity had bought her: fifty keystones for a singer who refused to sing, a friend who wasn’t her friend, some one who was hers and yet would never be hers.”

Then there’s Arin. Add in another fangirl because he is surely the perfect counterpart to Kestrel. They are one in the same and I just need them. Arin is as much a strategist as Kestrel, but different. I can’t even explain this difference. He’s a perhaps less trained and tuned to this way of thinking, but he falls into so well. I can’t get over him, I can’t wait for more in the next book.

Of course, the thing making these two so amazing wouldn’t be so well done if not for Rutkoski’s writing and her style. Her story just flowed together so well, coming to the climax in a smooth, lip-biting and anxiety inducing build as I tried to mentally prepare myself for what would come. I was partially wrong about what would come, and partially right. That might’ve made it worse for my poor heart…
Anyways! She’s one of those writers that has those lines in her book, much like the first quote, that just stayed with me. I read them and they glued themselves into the recesses of my brain to stay there forever. Sarah J Maas is horrible for doing this to me time and time again. I fear Rutkoski will succeed at doing the same thing. Fear, but anticipate because I can’t wait to get the next book started!

Anyways, that’s actually going to wrap up this review. I need to get started on the next book, but I wasn’t letting myself until I got this review written because otherwise it would never have been written.

Basically! Try this book out, maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t. The ending though!!!! Read it please.

Until next time,


3 thoughts on “Review: Winner’s Curse (Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

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