Book Review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski

Posted March 18, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy) by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy,
Published by A&C Black on April 10th 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9781250056979
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble

As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him - and for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. 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 him is much higher than she ever could have imagined. The first novel in a stunning new trilogy, The Winner's Curse is a story of romance, rumours and rebellion, where dirty secrets and careless alliances can be deadly and everything is at stake.

“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?” 
― Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Curse

The Good…:

Marie Rutkoski’s novel, The Winner’s Curse, is a very interesting novel, that feels both historical and futuristic at the same time. Set in some imaginary land and time, those with great strategic ability seem to hold the most power. The heroine, Kestrel, the daughter of a great general is not really good at fighting, but knows how to play the political scene to her advantage. In some respects the novel feels like a young adult version of Game of Thrones. Except, without as much bloodshed, incest, or dragons.

The budding romance between Kestrel and the slave Arin, builds nice and slow. This makes it read more realistic than the usual love at first sight romances that plague many young adult novels. In fact because of Kestrel and Arin’s positions in society their romance is very Romeo and Juliet.

The Bad…:

Author Marie Rutkoski planned her Winners series to be a trilogy. This is great because readers get to spend more time with this intriguing story, However it also means the first book, The Winner’s Curse, reads very slowly. In fact, the entire novel was basically nothing but exposition setting up the entire trilogy. Despite this there was enough story to leave me hungry for more and desperate to read the second novel in the trilogy, which I predicted would be faster-paced and more action packed. Basically, the first novel wasn’t exactly something I would consider hard to put down, because at times it was a bit boring. However, there was enough intrigue, and the main characters were likable enough that I was interested in continuing with the series.

Do I Recommend?

Yes but only because the second novel is way better then the first. Everything that Rutkoski set up in the first novel, appears to gain traction in the second novel, The Winner’s Crime, which I’ve already begun reading. In the second novel, the romance becomes even more complicated, and so do the politics.

Source: Fierce Reads

About Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Winner’s Curse (March 2014). She grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois as the oldest of four children and decided early on that she was Someone Who Loved Books.

After attending the University of Iowa and living in Moscow and Prague, she studied Shakespeare at Harvard University, where she honed her skill in referring to herself in the third person.

Marie is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance drama, children’s literature, and fiction writing. New York City is her home, and she thinks there must be birds of prey living in Washington Square Park; she can see large, wheeling wings from the window where she sits and writes. Marie has two small sons who try very hard to make friends with the family cat, only to be snubbed for the dark quiet of a closet. Marie can tie a double figure-eight knot with her eyes closed. She’s learning how to play the violin. She’s a sucker for fancy tea, and her favorite dessert is crème brulée. Or maybe sticky toffee pudding. Tough call.


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0 responses to “Book Review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski

    • YES! It was so obvious from the start who Kestrel had eyes for. I wish YA authors stop trying to include love triangles in their books, unless it makes sense with the main plot.

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