book review // The Winner's Curse

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

we're back to school, officially.

I don't love it honestly. this whole stress thing is not that fun.

and about that posting two times a week thing: in my 2017 goals post, I said that I'd try to post two times a week. I'll do this when I can, but I can't promise a wednesday post every single week. just from being back to school for a few days, I can tell it's gonna be a struggle. i'll try my best though!

so here's a little wednesday book review, at least this week. I present to you, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski.

so before I start, a little background on my reading this book. I was super excited about this book and had heard some awesome things about it. It's been on my TBR for the longest time, and I finally read it! check that one off the ever-growing-monster-TBR!
I dunno. this book was pretty good, but not my favoritest (it's a word. don't question.) It was written well, and it was an interesting story, but it didn't blow my socks off. I still really enjoyed it though!

by Marie Rutowski

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. 

i really liked both of the main characters. well, that's the first step to my liking a book, so good job to the TWC!

kestrel was really witty and smart, but she was also stubborn and bad at combat/fighting. she was imperfect, and i loved that. kestrel was great at strategizing and very very intelligent! i liked having a heroine that wasn't so strong physically, but could blackmail you to death. refreshing. also, she played piano a lot. secretly, she was my favorite, but don't tell arin.

arin is the slave that kestrel purchased. obviously, as you can probably tell, he is kestrel's love interest. i didn't really get to know his character that well until about halfway through, but he was a good character! HE WAS A TOTAL JERK IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE BOOK. but I forgive him because he was SO CUTE sometimes. exhibit a: he braids kestrel's hair for her. exhibit b: he teaches kestrel how to sew a button and many other small cute things.

so yeah. those are the two main characters. the romance between them was not instalove, so yay! their relationship was very complex, and it had much room to develop in the next books!

the cover IS SO PRETTY. enough said. *cough* it may or may not be the reason why i chose to read this book *cough*

i loved the world it was set it. to me, it sort of read like a fantasy version of ancient Rome. it was set in a violent world, but there were also some very political aspects to the society. it was good to see both.
BONUS: the book was not gigantically huge, and the world building was still amazing without any info dumping.

the writing was pretty beautiful. it was raw and emotional and totally had me wanting to read more. it was almost addictive.

just look at that cover. GAHH.

it was a little slow to start off. i did have some trouble at first getting into the story. this was one of the only times in the book that the writing felt a little bit awkward to me, but i eventually got into the story.

it was sexist. i know that this has been ranted about by everyone, but i'll mention it again. I MEAN, women are allowed to fight in the army, but they can't go into town by themselves??? it's ridiculous I tell you, RIDICULOUS.

it moved slowly sometimes. although the writing was beautiful, the plot got pretty boring sometimes and just moved slowly in general. obviously, it wasn't so bad as to make me DNF it but, it did get monotonous occasionally.

rating: ★★★ ☆ 

this book was pretty good, but i don't think that it quite lives up to its hype. it was very well written, and the plot was brilliant. kestrel was also brilliant. 

i would recommend it!

if you have read this book, did you enjoy it? do you think it lives up to all the hype? let me know down in the comments! thanks for reading!

xoxo, madeline


  1. A fantasy version of ancient Rome world sounds pretty cool, even if it didn't quite meet expectations. and yessss I feel you about school. *moans* Luckily, we've had the last couple of days off because of snow so I'm not complaining. XD

    1. we've had a couple of days off for snow too! thank goodness for that! :)

      I just read your post about not blogging for awhile, and i'm gonna miss you so much! love ya, girl.

  2. Hello! I love your blog so much; you have a really beautiful design! This book looks awesome, I'd love to read it. I have followed your blog because I think it’s so good!!! I would love it if you had a look at my blog; I’m a very passionate teenage blogger but I’m quite new and really need the support! Perhaps we could become friends? Thank you so much, Jeani xxx

    1. thank you so much! this book was pretty good! I'll definitely take a look at your blog! nice to meet you! i'm really new at this too!

  3. Aw, I'm so glad you liked this! I personally didn't enjoy it too much, mostly because of how sexist it could be, and the plot didn't really resonate with me - but I stuck it out for the whole series, and the second book was so much better for me! Will you be reading the rest of the books?
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    1. the sexism of it really kind of bothered me, but i loved both of the characters and the world! i'm definitely going to be reading the others in the series at some point! (maybe not right away though)

  4. I really loved this book! I was fortunate enough to read it before there was too much hype and expectation, so I ended up loving it a lot more than I expected. I couldn't put it down and fell in love with the main characters and the world.

    1. i do find that i enjoy books more when they are not as hyped! so glad that you enjoyed it!


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