The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse book cover


“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.”


So I’ll be blunt and to the point with this review. In all honestly I really didn’t like this book, and didn’t finish it. I got to page 230 or so out of 330+ because I decided to give it a nice go. I didn’t want to give up as sometimes they get better half way through but this book honestly didn’t in my opinion at all.

My main problem was I didn’t connect with the characters. That is a big thing for me in the story. I don’t need to relate to them but I need to connect to them. I want to be able to read the story and be able to get inside the head of the characters and feel like I am a part of the story and am able to be into the story. With this one, I honestly didn’t feel like I was able to. I never really got into the book because I just wasn’t interested in it.

The story idea was interesting, a master in love with a slave, although the slave wasn’t a slave as we know it. While they were owned, they weren’t treated as badly as slaves from real life, as long as they did what they were supposed to do and did it well. I was intrigued by the idea but honestly, once I started reading it, I really didn’t like it. It was just weird to read.

Finally, I realized that there was weird character development. It kept progressing and then just falling flat on it’s face. Maybe, since there are other books in the series, the series gets better, but I wasn’t willing to wait because if the book doesn’t catch me half way through for a single book, or after the first book in a series, I don’t have any motivation to carry on. I do hate not finishing books, but I don’t have time to waste on books that I don’t enjoy unfortunately, but I did give it a valiant try.

This book does have decent reviews though, a lot of readers giving it a 4+/5 stars so maybe it is their kind of book but it personally wasn’t mine.

Anyone agree or not agree? I’d love to hear opinions.

Otherwise, happy reading.