Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review: The Winner's Curse

Title: The Winner's Curse
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Author: Marie Rutkowski
Published by: Bloomsbury Children's on April 10th 2014
Genre: Historical Romance Fantasy
Format: Kindle
Source: Bought
Buy it from Amazon or Book Depository
Check it out on Goodreads

Goodreads SynopsisKestrel lives the lavish lifestyle of a Valorian General’s only daughter, and such riches come at a cost for Valoria’s captives – and for her. As the Herrani face death or slavery, Kestrel’s destiny is shaped by her father. He gives her two choices: join his army or get married. Desperate to realise her own future and knowing that it will invite scandal, she pays a small fortune for a handsome Herrani blacksmith at a slave auction. Arin not only plays Kestrel’s power games, he understands what she needs and soon she is torn between loyalty to her people and her feelings for him. But Arin is not all he seems and Kestrel will learn that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The first novel in a stunning new trilogy, The Winner’s Curse is a story of romance, rumours and rebellion, where dirty secrets and careless alliances can be deadly – and everything is at stake.

My Thoughts: This book was not what I was expecting at all. I thought it was going to be some Romeo and Juliet forbidden lovefest but it wasn't. OK there was some forbidden love but that's not even what the book is about.

All the characters in this story are fantastic and real, I either loved them or hated them, there are no characters I felt meh! about. Kestrel is such a strong willed and intelligent young women who wants nothing more than to choose her own fate and to not live the life her father or society would choose for her. I loved that she is no wilting flower but is willing to stand up and fight for what she believes in, even if it means getting in trouble or killed. Arin, the slave that Kestrel buys on a whim, is another strong-willed character. It took a little while for me to warm up to him, but once I did, I loved him, even when I didn't totally agree with his actions.

The romance between these two is so beautiful and complex and not at all instalove. Neither of them forget that they master/slave and on opposite sides of a war and so don't let their feelings get in the way of doing what is right for their countries. At times I would get frustrated with the two of them and yell at my kindle, "just get together, already", but still, the way their relationship plays out is quite satisfying.

The setting of the novel is like historical fiction meets light fantasy and I loved all the historicalness of it - balls and sweeping gowns, gas lights, horsedrawn carriages and duals to the death. The world building was a bit sparse, as I we only get a limited view of the world threw the characters but I am sure we will see more in the following books.

I am absolutely going to be getting the next book as soon as it comes out, especially after that ending. If you love your historical fiction with a touch of fantasy and romance with strongwilled characters, then I definitely recommend this book.


  1. I am so glad you liked this book. It is on my shelf too but after reading some bad reviews I got kind of worried. Guess I have to read it soon!

    1. Oooh I haven't read any negative reviews, well mind you, if I am sure I will like a book, I only read the positive reviews.

      I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Lovely review! I love when books have a great mix of historical fiction and fantasy. I think I need to get my hands on this one. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks Wajiha.

      If you can get a physical copy you should because the cover is beyond gorgeous and will look great on your shelves.


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