Book review: ”Winner’s Curse”


Book title: ”Winner’s Curse” (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publication year: 2014

Number of pages: 368

Format: ebook

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 3.5☆


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.


This novel is really strongly political and doesn’t focus too much on the romance. I think the romance in this novel was quite instantaneous and not really explained.

The reason I gave it a 3.5 stars is that it wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. There were so many good reviews and videos about this book and I was really hyped to start this trilogy and then I was let down. The book was boring! But not all of it…I’ll get to that point soon.

“He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”   

The character development wasn’t that good. I felt like the characters as well as the dialogue was really simple and one-tiled. I didn’t feel anything for Kestrel, she seemed like an arrogant person for some reason. I also disliked her ”mood swings” , the way she would be all nice one second and then start barking orders around and so on.

Arin was sweet but I think the whole rebellion was a bit far-fetched. I really hated that the fight scenes were not detailed enough. There was like half a page describing a dress, but the fight went along the lines of: ”Oh well, black powder, boom, they won.”

The whole book just seemed to drag on for what felt like forever. I found it really hard to get through it.

“The god of lies must love you, you see things so clearly.”

I did enjoy the fact that this book was very politically intricate and I love that aspect of things when reading books. The book did pick up space towards the second half and that’s when I really got into it and ended up enjoying the end a lot. That is the reason for the 3.5 stars, the novel redeemed itself in the end and I am willing to give the other books a try as well and see if they get better.

“You don’t, Kestrel, even though the god of lies loves you.”   

Check the book out on Goodreads here.




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