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

The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Hi guys, I hope you all are having a great day and this is my review to The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. This is the first book in The Winner’s Trilogy.


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 book is one of those reads. It’s one of the reads that you’re not sure you like but you still can’t stop thinking about. And then when you really think about it, you realize how smart this book actually is. Now that I think about it, The Winner’s Curse is a book for me that is unique in its own way. This world is different, but so are the characters. I can’t really say that I’ve ever read a book like The Winner’s Curse before.


First of all, I want to start off with Kestrel. She was a different character in YA that I haven’t really read about. And what makes her so different is the fact that she can’t fight. But, just because she can’t fight doesn’t mean she’s not badass.  I’ve seen a lot of YA heroines who say they can fight and they actually can. And I’ve seen YA heroines who say they can fight and they can’t. The thing about Kestrel is that she knows her strengths and weaknesses. She knows when to use her smarts and when to make things in her favor by turning her weaknesses into strong points. Kestrel is manipulative, deceptive, smart, observant, and her sharp tongue is her best weapon during advances meant to threaten her. This character trait of Kestrel stuck out to me so much that it makes me admire Rutkoski for being able to pull off a character trait like this.


Nonetheless, there were obviously some points in the book that I didn’t agree with Kestrel’s decisions and I felt as if no specific explanation was involved as to why she made some of these decisions. But it was a small flaw that I could overlook.


However, with Arin, I felt like you couldn’t really figure him out. At some points I thought I had him pinned down and on other points I felt like I didn’t get this guy. I could see Kestrel coming out and forcing herself to control her emotions, but Arin, he would let his emotions for some things and Kestrel take over in a combination that led to decisions I didn’t expect for him to take in this book. I thought that was what made him a solid character though (now that I’m thinking about it in detail).  


The story had a nice pacing, at some points I thought it was slow, but in others, I couldn’t put this book down. I felt like I saw this ending coming . . . but I didn’t. I’m not sure; I think this is just me being mind blown. The plot points in this book were predictable, I wasn’t really surprised but this book still had a great writing style to it.


Overall, this book is okay. Some points were great for me, but I feel like other points in this book could have been better. 


I would recommend The Winner’s Curse to anyone who wants to try it out. I can’t say you have to like a particular genre because I feel like this book had a lot of romance to be dystopian. And there was dystopian. But there was also political strategy. So, if you have any friends that have recommended The Winner’s Curse to you, then be sure to check it out! :D


Thanks for reading my review guys, and until the next one! :D