The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Book

Overview (No Spoilers):

My fellow blogger, Rachel R. Smith recommended The Winner’s Curse to me ages ago, and it has somehow fallen from my reading list. Imagine my excitement a few weeks ago in Portland, Oregon when I stumbled upon the title again while perusing the ever, awe inspiring Powell’s Books before Samuel and I’s cross country adventure. If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore this wonderful haven for books, I would highly recommend adding this bookstore to your book bucket list. The photos below are from my first adventure to Powell’s Books, where Luke had to drag me away!


12187774_10100862542540150_5383224767549855813_nRegardless, soon after my trip I picked up The Winner’s Curse and quickly became entranced by this delightful detailed and complex world. This novel is a relatively short read, having finished it in two sittings, however the detail and character development, especially for a YA genre, were exquisite. I find most YA novella relationships to be forced and rather predictable, however I loved the dynamic between Kestrel and Arin. While I found the first half of the book far more entertaining than the later sections, the transition in Kestrel and Arin’s roles throughout the book were a fascinating twist that was delightful for the reader to behold. Other than Irex and Cheat, it was hard to really truly dislike any one character for long, with each character exhibiting depth and understanding at one point or another that removed the predetermined, one dimensional good guy/bad guy label, case in point, General Trajan. Regardless, I’m not sure who I find myself rooting for more, the Herrani or the Valorian. Overall, The Winner’s Curse was a delightful introduction into a series I’m impatient to continue. The ending has left possible the opportunity for the reader to discover more of this fictional world and subsequently, complicated politics that govern it in the books that follow.


  1. I’m just getting into the third book of this series. I can only say that it gets better and better. There’s definitely a lot more of those delightful mind games in the second installment. I can’t wait for you to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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