Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Book 1 in the Winner’s Trilogy
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Romance
Bang Bang Rating:
Kestral is a Valorian and the General’s daughter. Arin is a Herrani slave who is purchased by Kestral. Kestral has the gift of seeing lies but can she see Arin’s lies?
Dang, That was Good
- Let’s begin with the cover. Plenty of covers have girls in beautiful ball gowns but how many of them are gripping the “r” in Curse? NONE OF THEM!!!
- No instalove. You know that Kestral and Arin will become forbidden lovers but Rutkoski creates a slow build that will ultimately become an epic romance. Kestral never obsesses over his body or his face. She doesn’t incessantly gush over him to her friends. She does think about him at times when she shouldn’t but it’s brief.
- No stereotypical characters. Kestral has a friend, Jess, who love pretty dresses, parties, and matchmaking but she’s not the annoying best friend that we all know and hate. Kestral has a suitor in Jess’ brother, Ronan, but he very charming and extremely likable. Hmmm, wonder what will become of his character?
- Kestral is a kickass heroine. Although this book is about war, Kestral isn’t a great fighter with her hands and she doesn’t claim to be. She uses her mind to beat people. You never know why she makes the decisions that she makes but you know there’s a strategy behind them. She’s also snarky at all the right times. There are moments where you hope she defends herself and not be the damsel, but there are reasons for that.
- World-building. Rutkoski has created an interesting world.
- Internal battle. Valorians own Herrani slaves and Kestral is Valorian. You want to root for Kestral however Arin is a slave and you want the slaves to beat the Valorians in the war.
- Winner’s Curse is beautifully written.
That’s too Bad, Dang
- If you are expecting a fast-paced adventure, don’t bother. It’s a slow build. Rutkoski takes her time to build her world, the characters, and the romance. But when the shit hits the fan, duck.
- That’s it
Winner’s Curse is a well written story about forbidden love, gossip, and war. Highly recommend it!