February 13, 2014

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski: Book Review

winners curse
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Release Date: March 4th 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #1
Source: Netgalley
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. (via goodreads)
My Thoughts: I haven’t read fantasy novels in a while but The Winner’s Curse sounded too good to pass up. I’m pleased to say that The Winner’s Curse was just the sort of thing I was missing in fantasy novels. Action, adventure, romance and phenomenal world building; The Winner’s Curse had it all.
The plot was a little predictable at times but most of the time, it flowed smoothly and all transitions made sense. I was shocked several times and I didn’t expect the novel to seem so long! Although the novel wasn’t very long, there was so much action and the plot moved fairly quickly which I found very beneficial. I’m always annoyed when books seem a little too short when it seems like there’s some extra room for a more pleasing resolution but that was not the case with The Winner’s Curse.

The world building was phenomenal but I was a little confused at certain times about where the characters were at certain points. I blame that on my fast reading in order to get more of the story in, I was hooked! I think to really appreciate the gorgeous writing style and great world-building, you have to read a little carefully. I also enjoyed that while the writing was in 3rd person, I still managed to connect to the main characters and really empathize with them.

I also really liked Kestrel, our main character. She was very cunning and clever but she wasn’t the best when it came to fighting. She sometimes annoyed me but for the most part, I really liked her. I also liked that while she wasn’t necessarily “strong” (in a sense that her fighting skills weren’t the best), she still was a very heroic and bad-ass main character. I also liked Arin, the love interest. He was such a complex character and I think that some of the alternating point of views helped us understand his character. I really loved reading about him and he’s easily one of my favourite characters. The romance between them was just adorable but I don’t want to say more because I think you need to read that for yourself.

Overall, The Winner’s Curse was just a phenomenal read with plenty of action, a swoon-worthy romance and some awesome world-building. It was a great start to an already good series and I can’t wait to read more. I will be buying myself a finished copy and I highly recommend this one to fantasy/romance lovers!five starsHave you read The Winner’s Curse? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? If you haven’t read it, are you looking forward to it? Let me know!

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