The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)

Read on 31st May, 2015

Author: Marie Rutkoski

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5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I can’t even right now. I just – no.

The Winner’s Curse has quickly risen to the top of my favourites list – right up there with Dragonfly by Julia Golding, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, the Tortallian series (plural) by Tamora Pierce, and others. The main characters are brilliant (I mean that both in a descriptive and literal way – they are both wicked smart), the world building fantastic and the plot line all that I could have hoped for and more.

Fantasy, romance, intrigue, friendship, betrayal, high society, rebellion, revolution, torn loyalties… “The Winner’s Curse” is beyond epic.

Strange as it was, there was only one character that I hated, and it is not the obvious one. To keep this spoiler-free, let’s just say that I actually started out liking the person in question, but that quickly turned to loathing as his true character came out. Not only is he unwise and disrespectful, but he is a sexist pig with seemingly no regard for human life. When misfortune befell him I laughed – and felt no remorse whatsoever. I do, however, admit to loving to hate him – but that’s hardly the same thing.

Aside from the story itself, The Winner’s Curse has an absolutely spectacular cover and interior – it’s so pretty!! And in paperback! *squeal* (The picture really doesn’t do it justice.) While I was reading Insurgent, I couldn’t help but spend quite a lot of time devoted to staring at the cover and flicking through the pages, sighing at how pretty it is. Unfortunately, I cannot do this to my copy of Winner’s Crime as it is an eBook (courtesy of NetGallery) and hence will most likely eventually cave in and buy a hardcopy version…

There is so much more that can be said about this amazing work of fiction, but I have decided to keep it short as I am already suffering from withdrawal… I shudder to think what I shall be like at the end of Winner’s Crime upon facing the reality that I will have to wait another year to read the final book (and, let’s face it, probably a  cliffhanger worse than this one).

If you loved The Winner’s Curse, read The Winner’s Crime and are now suffering from withdrawal symptoms, I highly recommend checking out Dragonfly by Julia Golding. It is a high fantasy standalone and is one of my all time favourite novels – I have probably read it about seven times already.

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6 thoughts on “The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)

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