loved by the god of lies ♦ the winner’s curse by marie rutkoski

winnerscurse-marierutkoskiPublished: March 4th 2014 Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: LOVE & WAR
Other Books From Author: The Kronos Chronicles series, The Shadow Society, The Jewel of the Kalderash, Jacks and Queens at the Green Mill

Amazon | Goodreads | @marierutkoski |

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.



Every once in a while, a book comes along with a synopsis and a cover which convince you, no matter what, you will love that book. You don’t need to read any reviews or reactions, you just know. It doesn’t happen too often. But then, along came The Winner’s Curse. I just knew it. OH. MY. HEART. This romance. This storytelling. These games. I want to frame this book up and worship it forever AND throw it down my window at the same time.

No mistakes here. I love love love love loved this book. Maybe not-so-healthily.

“You don’t come to auctions often, do you? The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”

“Winning” is a recurring concept in this book. The pensive tone made me squirm under the question of morality in winning. Have you won when you’ve sacrificed everything else in its wake? Is there point in winning when you have already lost yourself? In war and love, what is fair and what is not? These are some questions that the characters in The Winner’s Curse seek to answer, and I was very very shaken.

Kestrel has to be pretty much my favorite character. She’s not one of those kickassery heroine that I usually love. She is in fact, an awful fighter. But Kestral is SMART. Very strategic and cunning and curious. She knew when to make a false move, how to mess around with her enemy’s psyche, what calculated steps to take.

ARIN AND KESTREL. GOODNESS HELP ME. I enjoy reading forbidden love stories, but THIS just made it to a whole new level. So perfect. Seriously. This romance is amazing, and I don’t say that often. Think perfect build up, perfect tension, perfect banter, perfect feels, perfect slow burrrrn and I still don’t come close to doing the two of them justice. AHH I’ll eventually give something away if I keep talking.

SUMMARY: You need to read this love story. It’s just… extraordinary. The perfect slow dance that leaves you breathless and your heart pounding especially when SHIT JUST GOT REAL in the last 30 pages.


The plot starts slow but like a clever chess game, the pieces are moved subtly until SOMETHING HAPPENS and oh does it happen. I was gasping for breath when I realized what was going on and what it meant for the story. The action never stops from here. FEELS EXPLODED. SCREAMS INTO PILLOW. BRAIN DAMAGED. And oh my god the ending. Someone tell me Kestrel DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!!!!

325 more days to sequel. Should’ve known better. 

HO-LY-CRAP. Are you reading this book yet? If not, get on that stat!! If you’ve read the book, what did you think!


16 thoughts on “loved by the god of lies ♦ the winner’s curse by marie rutkoski

    • Thank you!! I’ve been talking about NOTHING but The Winner’s Curse for the past few days XD Hyped books tend to receive a lot more skepticsm, and honestly, The Winner’s Curse doesn’t live up to the hype.


  1. Whoa, this book sounds amazing! I love the cover it’s really pretty but for some reason I wasn’t going to pick this up, now however? Totally going to give it a go at some point! I love clever stories!

    • Must have been the hype talking! I know many who’ve been disappointed with this book after all the crazy high expectations from early reviews. The COVER!! OH MY GOD I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT THAT IN THE REVIEW BUT ASDFGHJKL SO PRETTY!!! Love the dress and the font and is she holding a key? IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT STANDS FOR?!!!

      *fangirl mode activated*

      BRB CRYING. Hope you’ll enjoy reading!!

  2. I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite some time. It is daunting to get into a book with so much hype, and I’m so glad to come across a positively radiant review. Will be reading it soon and sharing my thoughts!!

  3. I absolutely adored this book and relate so much to all the GIFs you’ve used to illustrate the feelings while reading this book!

    I loved Kestrel, I loved Arin and their story seriously kept on killing me!! Then the culture and the world building and the references and all the subtle details here and there… Just brilliant!!

    Have you seen that you could play Bite & Sting and discover the title of the sequel! It was a lot of fun!!

    • Thank you!! I think what SOLD ME for this book was the intricate shifts in relationships and emotions and the thrill of EVERY STEP IS GOING TO COST YOU. The world building itself is not unoriginal, but also not especially impressive either. Yet everything somehow worked seamlessly together!! Brilliant is the word <3

      OHHH!! I didn't know about the Bite and Sting game! It was quite confusing in the book (it still is), but I'm intrigued ;D

  4. I knew I would be reading this book, when I read a post with your reactions to it last week, but now I’m definitely, definitely going to read it- SOON! It sounds so great and I’m very excited by your enthusiasm for it, so it’s definitely holding a firm place on my tbr. I hope to get to it next month, if I’m lucky! Great review!

  5. Aw, YAY! I’m so happy you loved this book as well :) I did too. Sigh. It’s so perfect, isn’t it? <3 Just dying for book two :) Great review.
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog a while ago. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina’s Books

  6. Awesome review, although I haven’t read the book yet….but it’s on the top of my wish list now :) anyways, can I just say how much I like your blog?

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