Review | The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Review | The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiKestrel has always had two life choices: join the military or get married. Being the General’s daughter, military life seems like a given, but Kestrel’s heart isn’t in it. And despite a possibility of a desirable match with a good friend, Kestrel’s heart isn’t really into the idea of getting married either.

While in the market place one day, Kestrel feels compelled to purchase a slave that is up for auction. The result of which starts in motion a set of consequences Kestrel never could have foreseen.

I had heard a bit of buzz about The Winner’s Curse but didn’t start reading it with many expectations. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. Kestrel is smart, strong woman; her character has depth and is interesting. There were things that Kestrel did that I didn’t like, but those dislikes didn’t end up hurting the overall story, though at the specific moments in the story where those things happened, I thought they would.

I listened to the audio version of The Winner’s Curse. The reader has a different accent that at first was a bit distracting, but I quickly warmed to it and ended up liking it very much. I look forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series to see where Kestrel’s story goes.

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: Some kissing. Sexual tension.
  • Violence: Sword/knife fighting. A city is taken over by force. People are poisoned and killed.
  • Language:Mild
  • Mature Themes: Aspects of slavery and war are discussed.

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The Winner's Curse Book Cover The Winner's Curse
The Winner's Trilogy
Marie Rutkoski
Young Adult
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 4, 2014

They were never meant to be together. As a general's daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can't help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.

Set in a new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.