When I was little, I used to sit on the couch and read the whole day. There was little else to do in the small town I grew up in so I immersed myself in lengthy narratives and fictional escapism. It’s been a long while since I’d done that… until I came across The Winner’s Trilogy on Goodreads. It was listed under the fantasy category but resembled romance more so than fantasy. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much. There’s just something about forbidden love that draws me in.
There are many things to like about the series. So much so that I finished the first 2 books in 2 days and have ordered the last installment. One of the things that annoys me about the fantasy genre is its many story arcs and impossible to pronounce names. This trilogy has neither. Each facet of the story is interesting and I didn’t skip over any chapters. In fact, I read every line! The author, Marie Rutkoski, is an English professor who studied Shakespeare. The writing is phenomenal as a result. (None of these fanfiction-turned-author amateur types).
This series really showcases girl power. The female lead is incredibly smart. The dialogues are clever and the plot interesting. There’s never a dull moment. Marie has really captured the essence of the characters and each one is developed in such a way that really makes the readers connect with them. Their world is described with vivid imagery and each character is fleshed out enough to make them relatable but not so overbearing that they end up a nuisance.
It’s a great trilogy and easy to read. The only fault is that it’s SO romantic that it plants this impossible notion of love in my head that I know doesn’t exist in real life. I suppose that’s why they call it fantasy!