Series Speed Date: Round #10

This section will cover any key details about the series.

Released: March 2014; March 2015; March 2016
Publisher: Macmillan; Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 355 pages; 402 pages; 484 pages

What do these covers say about this series?

Though I don't usually love faces/people on covers, this series is definitely an exception. I remember the first time I saw the cover for The Winner's Curse. I had major heart eyes! And after great reviews from other bloggers, I was dying to read it. I also remember my shock and horror when they announced they were changing the covers mid-series. I'm so glad they reversed that decision for the hardcover! While the covers imply that Kestrel goes to more balls than she actually does, I do love that you get the sense that she isn't your typical YA fantasy heroine. 

Based on the summary, what can you expect going into this series?

Before I read the summary for the first book, I'd already seen so much hype for The Winner's Curse. The cover had caught my eye, but it wasn't really on my radar. But once I finally read it, I fell in love. You can read my full review of the first book for more of an idea of what to expect going into this series, but I think the title of the first book tells you so much about Rutkoski explores in this series. Winning often comes at a steep price  – are you willing to pay it?

What are some highlights of the series?

A beautifully written story that will make you so emotional.
A smart, compassionate heroine who is a brilliant strategist. 
A bold, inspiring hero who fights to lead his people into a better future.
A moving bond between unlikely friends and surprising allies.
A fight between conquerors and conquered that will keep you guessing the entire time
A battle of wits between the smartest minds of this world, like an exciting game of chess.
A settings that's reminiscent of Greek or Roman culture, but with a fantasy angle.
A make-believe world with a historical vibe, making it easier to get immersed in the story. 
An exploration of choices and their consequences – and the price you pay in the process.
A romance that's slow burn, a bit star crossed, but destined to make you swoon.
A heart-wrenching story about fighting injustice and surviving against all odds.

How will you feel closing the last page?

Utterly and completely satisfied! After three books of emotional torture, I think you'll finish with a hopeful and happy smile on your face. The Winner's Curse really hooked me into the series and made me so invested in this couple and the overall conflict in the world. Even when things looked bleak, I couldn't put the book down. I picked up The Winner's Crime and had no idea that it would continue to decimate my already broken heart. You're probably wondering, "And why, exactly, would I sign up for this pain?" Because trust me when I say that in the end, it's all worth it. There's so much depth to this world and story, and I see it with each re-read. The first time I picked up these books, I was in it for the romance. And while that's still (mostly) true, I have more appreciation now for the victories and defeats, the fight for something better, and the belief that healing can be found.

Summing up this series in just three words?

Strategic. Dramatic. Romantic.

Is this series worth your time?

Absolutely! I'm writing this review after having read the first and second book three times and the last book twice. Clearly, I'm committed to this series. Kestrel is one of my favorite heroines because I can relate to the fact that she prefers strategy to physical activity. And this romance? OH MY GOODNESS. Hair braiding and board games have never been so romantic! The political intrigue and actions scenes are great, too, but the characters are the reason I keep coming back to this series again and again. Also, I listened to the audiobooks for my most recent re-read and loved narrator Justine Eyre. I've seen mixed reviews of her performance, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I flew through all three at 2.5x speed and can't wait to listen again. If you haven't read these gems, I hope you will!


  1. I seriously need to read this trilogy finally!

  2. I FINALLY FINISHED THE TRILOGY! I really enjoyed it a lot, and I definitely think that this series is truly a great story as a whole. It was so satisfying to find out how everything concludes!


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