Book Review: The Winner’s Curse

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The Winner’s Curse is written by Marie Rutkoski and it is the first book in the Winner’s trilogy. The main characters are Kestrel, Arin, Jess, Ronin and Cheat. Genre: fantasy, historical fiction, war, dystopia and romance.

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. Arjun’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.


This book kind of dissapointed me. It was one of those books that was overhyped and didn’t turn out to be THAT amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I liked this book, I just didn’t love it.

I think the idea behind this book was really interesting but the world-building felt unfinished, I would have loved to read more about the past and the relationship between the Valorians and Herranis. It was too vague for me.  Overall, I think is was a slow read and the story was dragged on.

When I read the synopsis, I kind of imagined a forbbiden love between a mistress and her slave and yes, it was like that but then again some parts really annoyed me. I couldn’t actually feel the love between Arin and Kestrel until some parts. The idea that Kestrel buys Arin as her slave but then falls in love with him was REALLY INTERESTING but I didn’t get enough Arin-Kestrel scenes.

This is really hard to explain *shakes head*

The thing that was really beautiful to me was the use of music in the book. This reminded me of ‘Matched’ by Allie Condie, those of you who have read it will know that art and music was completely banned and gone in their world and The Winner’s Curse was kind of smilar to that. The fact that people actually couldn’t play any instruments themselves and that it was a slave’s job was really frustrating. Amd I just loved the way music connected Arin and Kestrel started off their relationship because she bought him partly because she found out that he sang.

He had almost regained his senses, had almost turned back, when a few low notes stole into the air. The music now came in slow strokes, in a different key. A nocturne. Arin moved toward the garden. Past it, ground-floor glass doors burned with light.

I did enjoy reading this book and I can see it getting more interesting. Even though I didn’t love this one, I still look forward to the second book because I’m really dying to see what happens haha

I do recommend it to you if you find the synopsis interesting because you might love the book. It is really interesting and I can see it getting better. Hopefully. Have you read it? Please share your thoughts!

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟.5


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