I received this for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
on March 29th 2016
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?
I am so incredibly in love with Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. The first book, The Winner’s Curse left me completely awestruck. Book two, The Winner’s Crime, is that rare and delightful second book that continues the momentum of book one (and sets the reader up perfectly for the final book) while still having it’s own story to capture the reader. I loved these first two books so very, very much that I was equal parts excited and nervous for The Winner’s Kiss. Could it possibly be as wonderful as I hoped. The answer is unequivocally YES! So, so, so much yes. I don’t always post on goodreads right after finishing a book but I couldn’t hold back with this one:
Yeah. I am so gone for The Winner’s Kiss. Since it is the final book in a series I don’t want to spoil the previous books. Here are some of my very favorite non-spoilery aspects:
- I love the way the beginnings of each of these books echo the oral storytelling tradition. It immediately puts me in the frame of mind to be wrapped up in the story. It gives it such an epic feel.
- Marie has such a way with words. Her phrasing, word choice, syntax… it’s all perfection. She has such a rich storytelling style that I just can’t get enough of.
- To continue with the storytelling them I seem to have going here… I love that both Arin and Kestrel tell stories to get their points across and impart information. I JUST LOVE BEING SURROUNDED BY STORIES!
- Arin’s character has developed so much. He’s tried so hard to be cold to numb himself from pain. It’s so, so heartbreaking.
- Kestrel has so much love to give and seems to get nothing but grief. She is so incredibly strong. Her perseverance is incredible.
- I was surprised by what a show stealer Roshar was! I don’t want to say too much but his character captivated me.
I read this book months ago and I still can’t write coherently about it. I’m always sad when a series ends but a book like The Winner’s Kiss makes it worthwhile. Such an incredible and beautiful ending to a series I cherish. I cannot recommend it enough. Marie Rutkoski is a genius.