Everything Seemed Pretty
Of course, I have to first mention the cover. Yes, it's a "Girl in a Dress" cover, but not as I know them. It's unique, actually fits the story, and I think the typography on the front is gorgeous (it's shiny, which you can't tell from the picture). My favourite part of the cover though is the actual book spine. It's so beautiful and I wish I had a picture to put here, but I don't.
Anyway, moving on to the more important parts...
The novel follows Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel is from the world of balls and socialites, whilst Arin works as a slave. When Kestrel purchases Arin at a heavy price for her household, gossip flies around the community both within the Valorians - Kestrel's people - and the Herrani - Arin's people. What follows is completely unexpected to both the community and the reader.
The writing style in this book stood out to me the most. The words often seemed to flow from the page, making it a fast read, and the descriptions made everything seem so pretty. I thought the third-person point of view really worked well with the story, and I still became attached to the main two characters.
Kestrel and Arin were both intriguing characters who were smart and weren't too impulsive (which I appreciated), but I felt they still made some silly choices at times. Not too many though, so I didn't mind that much. I wish some of the side characters had been developed a little more, though I think that will happen in future books. I am still confused about how I feel towards a couple of those characters.
The beginning of the novel seemed a little slow to me, as though not much was really happening, but I could feel tension building up as though something big was going to happen. I was not disappointed, and around the middle of the novel I became more invested in the story. I felt like the action really picked up from there.
Another slight issue I had was that in the last third of the book I had a little trouble figuring out the timeframe, which threw me off a bit.
Overall, I enjoyed The Winner's Curse and I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy!