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. ๐Ÿ™‚

      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). Iโ€™m sorry this one didnโ€™t work for you, but in case youโ€™re curious, it wouldnโ€™t hurt to try. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope your next read will be better. โ˜บ๏ธ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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