The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Report Card
Characters- A
Character Development - A
Plot - B
Setting - B
Star Factor- B+
Overall Grade- B+


First, Kestral , since she is our MC. I really liked this character. I think the reason I enjoy her so much is that she's a really strong character, but not because she's really good at any one specific thing. Except of course, using her mind. It seems like, in stories like this, the female MC is always ridiculously attractive (without realizing it, of course) or super brave or selfless or heroic. There's always something about them. But here, I think she was just really easy to relate to in general. She made mistakes and trusted the wrong people and wasn't everything her father wanted her to be, but she was okay with all of that. She wasn't some revolutionary but she sparked change. She wasn't a master fighter, but she managed to win when she needed to.
Then there's Arin . I'm so undecided here. I want to like him. And I don't really blame him for wanting, not even revenge, but just his freedom. It makes sense that he would want to free his people from slavery. That is completely understandable. I just hate that he had to use Kestral to do it. And of course, he signed on for the job before he knew her. But still, it feels wrong.
I think my favorite character was Jess . She's just the fun, flirty friend that wants to pick out the perfect dress and gossip with you. She added a lot of light and humor to an otherwise serious book.

Character Development
The character who developed the more was probably Arin. It's not so much that he really grew as a person, but we get to see all the layers throughout the story. They were uncovered steadily.


I really liked the story in general, but there were times when I felt like it dragged a little. There were parts that simply could have been cut. I don't know that it was necessarily chunks of story so much as whole sentences that just didn't need to be there. I like, though, that some things were just implied. Like she didn't spend a lot of time telling us that Lirah liked Arin. We got the gist and moved on.

I like the setting and the environment that we're whisked off to, however, I would have liked to know more about the time. For some reason (though I strongly suspect this is another world completely, or at least with different place names) I kept imagining this taking place during the Civil War.

Overall, really liked the story and planning to continue the series.