Review: Winners Curse and Winners Crime

The first book, “Winners Curse” was an emotional roller coaster, and I was very thankful to have “Winners Crime” handy beside me because of that cliff hanger. However, having just finished Winner’s Crime, I am left wondering what to do with myself after an even more heart wrenching cliff hanger than the first had, and no access to the next and final book until February 2016. Sigh. So… for the review:

Title: “The Winner’s Curse”
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA/Historical fiction

My rating: 5/5stars

So, this book was basically about honour, truth or lies, maintaining relationships, pride, and keeping your wit.
Here’s the synopsis:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

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.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. 

Yes, before you ask, yes, this has romance. The plot is not completely romance based however. Oh no. I would not have read the book otherwise.
I’m not saying that I don’t love a good sappy story, but I also love a fair amount of action, some heart wrenching moments.
And this book had all of those.
There were the deep themes of right and wrong and human nature, and whether or not it is acceptable to buy and sell humans. (Kestrel learns this the hard way after her purchase.)
There is also the underlying woven theme of treachery, and wether you should follow your heart or your head… or both.

winnerscurserotator-600x210And then the betrayal…. a heart shattering betrayal from both parties that left me speechless. And at the very end, sacrifice. A sacrifice that is done in secret, and not recognized. Spoilers: Kestral gives up her own happiness for the freedom of those she loves, and in doing so, she breaks both her heart, and Arin’s.

And… surprise. That is how this book ends.

Major feels. Lots of tears. Over all, the book is amazing. I loved the cleverly woven dialogue, the interesting and unique characters, the lovely writing style and the well planned plot. I hated the ending as it left me torn and gathering my hear up again, but this book still makes my favourites list.


Title: “The Winner’s Crime”

Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA/ Historical fiction

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Yes, this is the same series, and yes, I did take off a half star. Why? Well… It wasn’t the setting’s fault. Oh no, there were still lovely houses and castles and balls, taverns, bridges, locks, ships, mountains and much more. Nor was it the fault of the writing. Each image was just as beautifully written and vivid as in the last book, if not more so. It was the character’s fault, not really. I am frustrated with Kestrel for what she did throughout this one (read the book if you want to find out). And the plot revolved around it as well.

I suppose it would have been worse if the author had ended it with no hope for forgiveness, no hope for a happy ending. But luckily, in the very last chapter, she allowed me to see a rainbow of hope for these characters… hope that they may actually make up and stop lying to eachother.

727d30fd8c1053e8149fa8f30519e34dThis book was interwoven with so much deceit. Everyone has a reason. The emperor lies to protect his people. Kestrel lies to protect Arin. Arin lies to protect his people. Tensen lies to protect Arin. Lie after lie is piled up in this story, and by the end, we just start to see the wall of lies crumble, hurting characters in the process. If anything, this story is an excellent example of just how much lies can wound someone. And wound they did. By the end, everyone was hurting, and didn’t trust anyone anymore. I thought there would be no hope for reconciliation. Until that last chapter… when the author adds in a bit of information that allowed me to hope.

But it wasn’t resolved. Oh no. No where near resolved. So I am stuck here, hurting for these poor characters… and wondering why the heck authors can’t write faster and get the next book out sooner. Seriously. This is awful. (Even if I do understand their reasons first hand :P)

All in all, I loved the books, wasted way too much time reading them and writing this review. But I hope this was helpful if not entertaining, and I’ll try to post more book review in the future.

Stay tuned,


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