• Anna-Roisin Ullman-Smith

Winners Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

Updated: Feb 17

Beautifully written, and most certainly exciting, Marie Rutkoski’s Winners Trilogy is a must read on any YA fan’s wish list.




The Winners Curse, The Winners Crime and The Winners Kiss explore a fascinating world, where a nation of war holds the most ground, and knows no mercy, pinned against the nation of artists they have enslaved.

Throughout all three novels Rutkoski moves flawlessly between our two main characters, Kestrel and Arin, who live on opposite sides of the same world.

The Winners curse throws us into the deep end as we are introduced to Kestrel, a general’s daughter, in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Kestrel is faced with two choices in her life, join the military or get married, but she has other ideas for what her life will hold.

On day, Kestrel is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct she buys him, for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. 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 is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Although this first novel puts the reader directly into this world, it is paced perfectly and nothing in comparison to the quick and fierce action of the Winners Crime.

In this second novel Kestrel in engaged to Valoria’s crown prince, a commitment which calls for great celebration for all but Kestrel. Trapped in a cage of her own design, and treading the dangerous line of a spy, Kestrel is forced to live in a world of politics and deceit, unable to confide in the one person she really trusts.

Meanwhile Arin fights to keep his countries hard won freedom, all the while suspecting Kestrel knows more and risks more than she lets anyone know.

The story finally comes to a boil in The Winners Kiss, throwing the readers world upside down, we are brought into an empire at war, with Arin leading his people into battle.

Arin cannot forget Kestrel, even though he knows she has betrayed him, and continues in vain to try to convince himself that she is the sly, ruthless killer with more love for her empire than for him that he needs her to be.

But Arin doesn’t know that in the frozen north Kestrel is sentenced to life imprisonment in a brutal work camp. As she fights to escape she prays that Arin will discover what she has sacrificed and swears to bring down the empire which has turned its back on her.

These three novels combine to create a fast paced, breath taking story line of love, deceit and war. At no point will you be bored by the Winners Trilogy.


We Give The Winners Trilogy Four Stars




The Winners Curse;

​ISBN – 978-1-4088-5820-2 Cover price - £6.99 Available as an eBook

The Winners Crime;

​ISBN – 978-1-4088-5869-1 Cover price - £7.99 Available as an eBook

The Winners Kiss;

ISBN – 978-1-4088-5847-5 Cover price - £7.99 Avaliable as an eBook

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