Mar 11, 2014

Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: FSG
Publication Date: 3.11.2014
Pages: 355
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: The Winner’s Curse #1
Source: ARC from publiisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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. 

THE WINNER’S CURSE may go down as one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Marie Rutkoski is flawlessly brilliant, piecing words and sentence fragments together in a masterful display of word art at its finest.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this book. Typically I’m the black sheep of the hype craze. A lot of super hyped books just fall flat for me (maybe I expect too much?), but THE WINNER’S CURSE shattered that streak for me. I knew from the first page this novel, this story, was unlike anything I had ever read. And I was a total fool for not reading it sooner.

Kestrel is everything a reader could want in a heroine—strong, brave, at times naïve, but her heart is in the right place. She messes up frequently, but fights to get back. She’s got this intensity and personality that is flat out mesmerizing.  Arin is so complex. There are layers upon layers to him, and even after finishing this book, I know we’ve barely scratched the surface of him.

This is absolutely Rutkoski’s book to shine. The world building and narration is brilliant (yes, I already used that word, but it’s so fitting, I may need to use it a few more times, so deal with it).  I was absolutely blown away by this book, and I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

Buy: Amazon


  1. Couldn't agree more with you, The Winner's curse is beautifully written around memorable characters and a mesmerizing world. I'm glad you and Jen told me I HAD to read it :)

  2. YAY for shattered hype streaks!! I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did because of all the hype but it was so good. MOAR, now, please!!

  3. YES! I am so glad to see you enjoyed this one, too! I thought it was going to be horrible because it was hyped so highly, but I ended up absolutely loving it. I MUST read the next installment now! Lovely review, Hannah :)

  4. YAAAAAAAAY!!! Normally I'm the same way Hannah, and hugely hyped books don't quite live up to expectation for me, but this book definitely did. I was sort of prepared not to like it since I'd read nothing but good, glowing, and gushing things, but I couldn't not love it from the moment I started. SO GOOD!

  5. I'm glad the hype worked out this time, Hannah! I loved this, too. I read the ARC a while back, but I just got the finished copy from the library, and I'm already ready for a re-read.

    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia


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