Review – The Winner’s Curse by: Marie Rutkoski

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. I don’t even know where to start. It’s unlike anything I have read and it’s heart breaking, and raw, and beautiful and I loved every second of it. The Winners Curse takes the feeling of an historic era and makes it fresh, new, and bold. It had everything I was looking for and ending just had me hanging on to every word.

“I will let every single Valorian in this city die if it means that you don’t.”

Sigh. I quoted so many lines from this book while reading but that one above has to be my favorite even though the very end quote gives it a run for it’s money. I loved Arin in every way. Arin who knows who he is. Who is beautiful and strong and always knows what he is fighting for. He doesn’t betray his people but at the same time he doesn’t betray his heart either and I admired him for it.

On the other side, our protagonist Kestrel. First off, I am a huge fan of unique names but this one takes the cake. It’s beyond unique, it’s lovely and the meaning of her name is just so true to her character. Kestrel is cunning and intelligent yet I love the soft side she falls into when with her piano. It’s not always just soft though, she becomes intense. Her character had such a wide range of emotions and I adored watching her fight through them all especially with all the males she has to deal with through out the book.

The last line of The Winner’s Curse just broke my heart to pieces and melted it to mush all within five seconds. On top of that, the fact that such an amazing book ended that way just shattered my heart in the best way possible. When I say I cannot wait for the next book, I SO mean it. Waiting a year will definitely not be fun. Do yourself all a favor and pre-order this one. It is outstanding.

– 5 out of 5 Splatters –

Published by Jena Freeth

30. Boy mom. Book lover. Fitness junkie. Shopaholic.

2 thoughts on “Review – The Winner’s Curse by: Marie Rutkoski

  1. I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK SO BADLY!! *ahem* sorry. Kestrel sounds like my kind of girl. I love when characters have a wide range of emotions and qualities. A heartbreaking ending? That is soo painful when it happens but in a good way. And that cover, GORGEOUS!! I love it the first time I saw it.


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