Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Title: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Date: March 4th 2014
Pages: 355
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a Young Adult dystopian book. The protagonist is Kestrel, daughter of general Trojan, and skillful piano player. One day, at the market, she buys a slave, Arin, but her action will have more consequences than what she could have thought…

I liked the society portrayed by the author, which gave me Greeks and Romans vibes. How the Valorians were uncivilized and then made Herrani’s inventions their own was and I was enticed by Herrani’s Gods.

I loved the main characters.

Kestrel is daughter of the most important general of the Valorian army, he’s feared by his enemies and loved by his people. He wants Kestrel to become a soldier, but she knows she’s not cut for the military life and the thing she wants the most is for her father to deem her worthy of his love. I was enticed by how intelligent she was and how brave she could be.

Arin has lost his family, he’s an orphan who had to work in order to survive. He wants his people’s land back and their freedom. However, when you don’t guard your own heart, feelings can change. This character was interesting and his fierceness likeable.

They were different on their own, but I think a think that linked them was their desire to be free, one from her father’s wishes, the other from another country’s control. They fight for what they want, and they’d go to any extent to reach their goals.

This is a story of bravery, of love, of deception. Many people will get hurt in the book, and your heart might stop at certain times.

The story was fast-paced with a beautiful writing style. I recommend it to Young Adult readers. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.



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About the author

Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.


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