Book Review: The Winner’s Curse


The Winner’s Curse

Marie Rutkoski

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

First of all, Look. At. That. Cover.  I’m such a sucker for pretty book covers, so starting off this book had that going for it.  I was not exactly sure what to expect from this book, but it exceeded all my expectations.  The setting was almost classical in nature.  Although it was not Ancient Greece, the setting reminded me of that day and age.  The conquered slave/owner dynamics in this book were stellar, and without giving away the plot, I loved the shift as the book went through the different stages and swings of the owner/slave relationship.  The romantic tension between the two main characters was fabulous and several times I got that heartburn-in-my-chest ache.  And the ending!!!!  Again… not going to give it away… but ALL. THE. FEELS.

I am so disappointed my request to read the sequel ARC on Netgalley was declined.  Now I have to wait until March before I can read the second book!  Sigh.


Would I recommend this to fellow book-lovers?  Absolutely!
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter?  Yes.  A little violent at times, but nothing she couldn’t handle.


5 of 5 stars.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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