Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
Genre: YA/ Romance/ War
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016
Edition: Kindle Edition, 498 pages
Source: Library
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | iBooks | BAM

     War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He's finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can't quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people, and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that's what he thinks.
     But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?


As Luke Cage would say, Sweet Christmas.

I was wary of this book. I read the first two back to back, and it destroyed my reading for a bit. So heart wrenching and sad. And all the possibilities for this book made me scared and worried about what kind of ending it would have. 

This book, heck, this series is so damn good. It has some amazing character development, I have so many things to say and I don't want to spoil anything. But these characters, especially Kestral, had some really fantastic character development. Arin had some too, but his wasn't as drastic but more gradual. Watching him try as hard as he did to bury his feelings for Kestral while was in the slave camps holding out hope that he would figure out her clue with the moth, broke my heart a little. The chapters and scenes of her struggles were really hard to read. Luckily I read through that part quickly

The second half of this book was when the action really picked up. I totally forgot about the Eastern Prince, Roshar, and he is easily a favorite character. The action wasn't all just massive intense battles, it was laced with spying, battle plans, and more character development.

There were some things that I feel weren't really wrapped up all that well, things that I think needed to be addressed even in passing commentary. Other than that possibly very small thing, this series is one that I think everybody should give a read. If you like books that have a good balance between action and romance, where the romance is part of the story and weaved in through everything in a way that it never seems forced, a story with great character development, check this book out.


  1. Great review! I'm glad I've started in on this series! :)

  2. Aw yay, I am so glad you loved this series! I liked the series too, though I think the second book was my favorite (oddly enough haha). I DID like this one, but like you said, I DO wish a few things had been done a little differently. Overall, a solid series though! Great review!