The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

20947360How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: 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.

200words (or less) review: The Winner’s Curse is a slow build; the first half of the book introduces you to Kestrel and Arin. She’s the general’s daughter and a strategist. Despite the fact that the Valorians enslaved the Herrani, Marie Rutkoski makes Kestrel a sympathetic character, she doesn’t behave as she should and wishing her nurses freedom was one such instance. I think you’d struggle to like someone who buys another (Arin) otherwise.

I liked that the author took time for you to get to know the characters and for Kestrel and Arin to get to know each other. The emotional turmoil in the second half of the story is so much more effective because of this and I’m sure this will continue in the sequel.

The Winner’s Curse was an engaging and fascinating read. It was the characters that captivated me, Kestrel in particular. Nearly at the end of the book she makes come calculating choices and is appalled she can make these so easily but that’s why she’s such a brilliant character to read.

I’m intrigued to see what the next book brings.

Recommend it?


The Winner’s Curse is OUT TODAY



To celebrate the UK publication I’m giving away a copy of The Winner’s Curse*, to enter just go HERE

Giveaway is for UK only.
Closes 10 July 2014.

EDIT: The winner is Kendra Leighton

*Thank you Bloomsbury.

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

  1. Hi Luna, I noticed the giveaways are only for the UK and was wondering if you were in another country for example, Canada, if we won could we pay for postage so we could receive it? So it wouldnt have to be just in the UK.

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