The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I think I’ve got a thing for political fantasies. Even if they don’t necessarily involve royalty, I still really like them. This book kind of mildly gave me Red Queen vibes for whatever reason 🤔 I think it might’ve been because there were two divided groups of people, where one is inferior to the other? Either way, I really loved that about it! (Because I adored the Red Queen series)

I really liked the unique position that the relationship between Arin and Kestrel took. The fact that he was her ‘slave’ added an oddly interesting dynamic to their relationship and took enemies-to-lovers to the next level. I also really enjoyed how clearly it was shown that they understood each other better than anyone else. Even without words, they had this sort of quiet understanding that turned to something deeper, much as they tried to deny it at first.

It also really love the fact that Kestrel has such a sharp mind for strategy. It showed how even though she wasn’t great at physical combat, her mind worked hard enough to make her still come off as a really strong character. The fact that her father expected so much from her also made for interesting stakes and I really enjoyed how that moved the plot along 😏

Also, the way it all came together near the end when we got to see into Arin’s point of view? That was amazing. I always love it when it all comes together at the end and you look back and realise all the hints that led up to it! Like, some things were obvious and dropped throughout the book, but I love when you realise it was all more elaborate than you’d initially realised! It’s like the cherry on top!

Speaking of endings… I LOVED THE WAY THIS BOOK ENDED. It was the perfect ending to this book and the perfect hook for the next one! I remember picking up the second book immediately after because I HAD to know what would happen next 😂

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