Snow Lands on Top

Suzanne Collins strikes again with the fourth installment of the Hunger Games series. This one follows Cornelius Snow before he’s become President Snow, when he’s just 18 years old. A perfect companion to the series, and frankly, I want more Snow books.


  • Love the Hunger Games series
  • Want to know more about President Snow in his younger days
  • Want a great read

TitleThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes | Author: Suzanne Collins | Rating: 4/5

I cannot believe how perfectly this book is written. It weaves together elements of the previous Hunger Games so deftly, so expertly, that I’m beyond impressed.

The book starts at the 10th Hunger Games, six decades before Katniss and Peeta play in their own 74th Hunger Games. Coriolanus Snow is a student and is selected to be mentor to a girl – Lucy Gray – from district 12. He doesn’t expect her to win, but moreso, he doesn’t expect her to win his heart. She does both.

The Hanging Tree song features in the book, and so does Katniss – but as a root vegetable they forage for in the woods. The Hunger Games itself takes a large stage in the book – no surprise there – as the 10th Hunger Games, and the origin of the Games is mentioned.

I expected Snow to showcase more cruel tendencies early on, but also thought the book could go in a different direction, where he’s kind-hearted but slowly the darker side emerges. And the latter is what happens. You can see Snow is kind and loving towards his family, his friends, and he doesn’t wield his power cruelly.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

But he’s ambitious, he’s smart, and he’s a Snow – and “Snow lands on top”. It’s his family mantra, and one he takes to heart. Nothing will get in the way of his gaining university admission, or becoming an officer–or becoming president. And he vows – after Lucy Gray’s betrayal – to never love again. He will never marry and let another person own his heart. Instead, he will marry someone who he hates, even, to avoid that weakness again.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was everything I wanted in a Hunger Games book – and more. Well worth a read for any fan, but can also be read as a stand-alone, though you will miss on the importance of certain elements.

I can’t say enough good things about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, except – go read it.

Suzanne Collins strikes again with the fourth installment of the Hunger Games series. A perfect companion to the series, and frankly, I want more Snow books.

7 thoughts on “Snow Lands on Top

  1. Nancy says:

    It effectively shows the formation of a tyrant as Snow moves from a callow and entitled youth, to a man who does anything to remain in power. Stong book, although I liked the original trilogy better.


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