Mini Book Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

The winner's Curse

Title: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkowski

Series: The Winner’s Curse #1

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Overview: 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. 

The Mini Review:

I liked this one, I really did, but I can put my finger on what exactly has the blogosphere raving about it. The love story was a little atypical, involving a general’s daughter and a willful slave, and was probably my favorite element of the tale. I also liked the concept for the novel in which one culture has usurped another, but felt like the author didn’t explore it as well as she could have (perhaps she will focus on it a bit more in the second book). The female lead was likable and I will definitely be picking up the sequel to see what she decides to do next. But that’s pretty much it. While I appreciated all of these things, it didn’t blow me away like a few comparable high fantasy novels have (or even other titles within the YA Fantasy genre itself). My biggest issue was that the second half of the novel suffered from poor pacing and too much repetition. The back-and-forth between the girl and the love interest got a bit stale and I feel like the great momentum the story had leading up to that point suffered because of it.

Overall though, I have positive feelings towards the book and will be picking up the sequel in March. If you told me you loved Throne of Glass, I’d recommend this title, but only after handing you some of my other favorites such as The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Jewel. I may not have valued The Winner’s Curse as much as my fellow bloggers, but I can see it’s one a lot of people are going to like.

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by Niki Hawkes

One comment on “Mini Book Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

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