I’m going to try something new today. Because I have such a huge pileup of reviews, I’m going to review the Winner’s Trilogy all together. I’m going to do a series review as a whole, and then a mini review for each individual review. Let me know how you guys like this format! (Also, yes, I used the title of an ABBA song. It’s been stuck in my head for ages.
In general, my favorite thing about these books was probably Kestrel. It was refreshing to see a girl whose greatest weapon was her mind. Of course, there are many smart heroines in YA literature, but very few rely solely on their mind. I loved watching her outsmart her enemies and bring down the powerful just with a few clever tricks. On the other hand, her love interest, Arin, was not as compelling. I liked him well enough, but there was nothing special about him, nothing to make him stand out from all the other swoony YA boys. It didn’t really matter though. The world-building and plot ensured that there were very few, if any, boring parts. The world was intricately crafted, from the upper class life of Kestrel to the Herrani struggles of Arin. The sharp contrast made their romance’s forbidden aspect even more powerful. Another thing that I really appreciated was that the plot was not circular. So many series follow the same plot cycle over and over again, but this series was linear, which made it seem even more like a narrative. This trilogy also contained one of the very few forest scenes that failed to bore me, which in and of itself is an achievement. Now, to the individual reviews!
The Winner’s Curse was a great start to this trilogy. It introduced the characters really well, and really showed how different their two worlds were. The plot was a bit slow in the beginning, but it quickly began to pick up, almost snowballing until it ended with quite a cliffhanger. To be honest, it felt like there was almost too much happening because there were so many big events taking place, but the plot never felt overwhelming. I also really love the title because the whole book is almost like one big gamble, so there are so many appropriate references to it throughout. All in all, I was very eager to launch right into the next book.
One of my favorite things about this book were the court scenes. I’ve always been fascinated by court politics, and there was definitely an abundance of those. The Winner’s Crime was a bit slower, but that was mainly because there were so many different schemes taking place. I won’t complain though, because who doesn’t love plotting? But seriously, again with the Cliffhanger? I’m just so glad that I was able to binge-read this series because I would not have been able to handle it.
Don’t you just love it when everything comes together? There were just so many satisfying moments. With a girl like Kestrel, you never really know what exactly she is thinking, but that just makes the final reveals even more pleasing. I think there was really just so much growth in a lot of the characters, especially her in The Winner’s Kiss. Therefore, even though the world around the characters may not have been as stressful, there was never a dull moment. Also, the last scene of the book just made me so happy. It truly felt like closure, and after all the tumultuous events, it made me feel at peace. Finally, can we just appreciate how beautiful this cover is? I mean, seriously.
So what do you guys think of the joint reviews? Should I do it more often? I will say that it was kind of nice being able to write a review of a series as a whole as well as individually in one post. One last thing: I do highly recommend these books, if you couldn’t tell by the ratings!