Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Re-reading The Winner's Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski!!!

Hiya there guys!

Trying to stay on top of the blog juggling extra shifts at work, trying to have some family & social life as well as everything else can be a bit of a job, but I think I'm hanging there alright, even if I might not post every day!

For this week's Thursday Thoughts I'm continuing with the re-reading reviews of a series I've done this year. I must say I'm pretty proud of the amount of re-reading I'm allowed myself to do, enjoying books I've loved and preparing for the next or final book in said series!

And this week it's all about The Winner's Curse trilogy and ALL THE FEELS!!

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I adored this one the first time I read it, and I adored it this second time. I love the writing, I love how although I knew the plot and what was beneath and unknown and untold until the revolution happens and I could see the hints and bits scattered throughout the narrative much more clearly.

I loved Krestel a lil bit more this time, even, and I'm alway been rooting for her. She's a wonderful female character that wants to be true to herself and what she wants, and even if she has to play by the rules of the society she lives in, she finds a way to try and bend those rules in her own way.

As far as Arin goes, I feel like I could understand him a lil bit better, his doubts, his anger, his plotting... all the times he snapped at Kestrel, and how he keeps on being torn between personal feelings and his fight for his freedom and his country.

The world building I adored as I did the first time. I call this series historical fantasy, because it kept reminding me of the Roman Empire culture (with a bit of Greek and even Minoan too) but it had its own flavour too. I loved how we got lil details like stories about the gods, cultural differences, traditions... all of it woven into the story.

And the relationship between Kestrel and Arin gave me ALL THE FEELS again! I also felt like Kestrel is loved by her friends and father but it's already seen as not entirely unconditionally, she's loved as the Kestrel she allows to be seen, and not entirely her whole real self.

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The first time I read this book it was an insane rollercoaster for my feelings and it wasn't any different on this re-read. To be completely honest the amount of emotional distress this book caused me was kind of insane! Damn these two, I already knew what was going to happen but the anxiety and distress and the tears kept on coming! *shakes fist at book*

After Kestrel's bold (and heartbreaking) move at the end of Curse, we see how she has to deal with the consequences, and how she might have bitten a bit more than she can chew. We see her using all her (considerable) strategist ability to navigate the Imperial court life, and if things seemed complicated at first, once she decides to do what is right and NOT what is expected of her as a Valorian.

The mistrust and secrets are hard to keep and even harder when it comes to having Arin in front of her, breaking her heart and risking her life.

The stakes are higher, the world building expands because we see more of the Empire and Arin journeys away to find support and allies for the Herrani cause, and we meet another country and another culture (this time I was reminded of both the Egyptians and the Persians) and nagivates another complicated set of intrigue and politics. We meet some new and complex character that add some more diversity to the game.

The ending is absolute torture and so full of emotional anguish that I was so very relieved to at least this time have the next and final book on hand to dive into right away!

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Feelings overload and a wonderful feeling of contentment, even when dreading working the morning shift on 3 hours of sleep because I couldn't put down this most wonderful book... And now I'm suffering a massive book hangover and needing a nap (badly!).

After the horrible ending of Winner's Crime and suffering through it all over again on my re-read, I dived into this one straight away. Seeing Kestrel desperate but never really giving up on her fight might have been tough, but when she loses the will to continue fighting? That broken my heart like nobody's business!

I'm afraid to spoil something by talking about all that happened in the book, so just in case, consider yourself forewarned!

Seeing Arin work as a leader and navigating the seas of political intrigue and alliances and getting ready to fight a war that can be considered lost before it even begun with a stronger foe? He might not have Kestrel's brain for strategy, but he's quite the clever man himself! When caught between a rock and hard place he keeps fighting to find the way to escape with as few scrapes as possible.

I was so very worried about these two and their relationship for half the book and then I was even more worried on the second half, because whatever progress that was made could be wiped away if the fight and the war went awry, as it might very well could!

Kestrel demonstrates a strenght on her mind and on who she is and what she thinks it's right that makes her a character to love even more, and she comes to terms with finding some peace about those who couldn't love her as she is.

Arin grows so very much in this book, working hard to become the leader he needs to be and learning to trust again and to let that trust strenghten love. He also works hard to make sure the bargains he needs to make don't come back to bite him in the arse.

I simply adored this one and I feel like it was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy! Very much deserved 5 (and then some) stars!!


  1. Why did I tink there were more books in this series? I thought there were four. :P

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this series all the way through Pili! I loved the first book but it went downhill for me afterwards with all of the angst and relationship drama. Great reviews, I'm glad it was just as good the second time!

    1. I'm sorry to hear the series didn't entirely work for you, Jeann!

  3. Lovely reviews Pili :D So glad you loved re-reading these books and that you loved the third one so much. <3 I DID TOO. Such perfect books :D Yesss. It had the most perfect final book. Sigh.


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