The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

BLOG“Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.”

As the daughter of a revered general, Kestrel has two options in life: join the military or get married. Neither appeals to her as she does not posses a natural skill for combat, and any marriage at this point in her life would be purely out of obligation. During an outing to the market she stumbles across a slave auction and on impulse and instinct she places a winning bid on a young man she feels an unexpected connection to. Over time, the bond between Kestrel and Arin grows, but there is much left unsaid. Arin has a secret and once events are set in motion, there will be no turning back.

I have to admit that I love a good YA fantasy novel. Especially during cold winter days, when a cozy blanket, a hot drink, and an escape into a fantastical world is a recipe for a wonderfully relaxing evening. The Winner’s Curse has been popping up on my Goodreads page quite consistently, so when I was looking for a new fantasy read I decided to finally give it a go. It is an easy read, and one you can absolutely breeze through, however, it is not one that is particularly memorable for me. I enjoyed the writing in this novel, and it is obvious that the author is very skilled at what she does. Overall, the story just fell flat for me. Not a whole lot happens in the first half of the story, which I wouldn’t mind if the connection between Kestrel and Arin was better developed. I found myself not connecting to either and didn’t really buy their connection. So, once the story really takes off, I was not at all invested in the events that were unfolding. Which is a shame because the latter part of the novel does have a level of intrigue and entertainment that I would have loved had I at all felt invested or interested in the characters. Ultimately, I am glad I gave this book a read, but I will not continue on with the series.

6 thoughts on “The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

    1. I would! It is worth a read, for sure. I didn’t find that connection to the characters, which affected my overall experience, but it is not a bad book in the least. There are many aspects of the story I liked, especially in the latter part of the novel. If the premise appeals to you, definitely give it a go. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review! I love this series, and while I was lukewarm about the first book, I was completely sold on it by the second. This is the rare series where it actually gets better with the sequels (the third was the best for me). 2 & 3 were both grittier, more cleverly and tightly plotted, and explored more complex themes outside of romance (i.e., politics and war). I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you, but in case you’re curious, it wouldn’t hurt to try. 😉 Hope your next read will be better. ☺️ Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gilana! Since I read The Winner’s Curse I have heard a few people mention that the 2nd and 3rd books are much better. And your experience definitely makes me curious! I didn’t dislike the 1st book, and “lukewarm” would accurately describe my experience as well. I am on a fantasy kick at the moment and certainly wouldn’t mind giving the 2nd book a go. Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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