Review – The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3)

By Marie Rutkowski

SummarySome kisses come at a price.

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? 

Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from the library.

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The Winner’s Kiss was probably my favorite book in the trilogy. I felt like I finally got to know the characters and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. Kestrel’s memory loss made her unable to plot and scheme for the good of everyone. Instead, she focused on helping Arin and figuring out who she was and what she stood for. It was so much more satisfying to see.

I like Kestrel and Arin and I don’t just feel like they were drawn together to create a plot, but it took all of this time for me to really see that. I wanted this sort of togetherness and insight in the beginning. I even felt like I knew more about who they were as individuals and how they were to their friends. I never got any of that from book 1 or 2 and maybe that was my issue with both of them. I’m glad I stuck with the trilogy because it was ultimately really good as one big piece. I feel like the first two books could’ve been longer with more plot and character development overall, but at least book three tied it all together. 

I think I understand why so many people recommend the trilogy. Now that I’m done, even though I didn’t have many great things to say in the beginning, the finale made up for it all. I definitely recommend The Winner’s Trilogy. It’s heart wrenching. The last book truly moved me and I felt the characters and their motivations more than ever. I knew them in my bones and I felt their suffering and the weight of their decisions.

This book is definitely not one to miss. If you’re struggling through the trilogy, just keep reading. It’s well worth the effort. 

Star 5


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