Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

*Review contains mild spoilers of the previous books in the trilogy.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Kiss
(The Winner's Trilogy #3)
by Marie Rutkoski
March 29, 2016
484 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Some 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?


After months of putting off reading The Winner's Kiss I've finished it. What a beautiful finale to one of the best fantasy trilogy I've ever read. Since this is the conclusion to a three book series I'll try not to spoil too much.

My heart is happy because The Winner's Kiss couldn't have been more perfect. Marie Rutkoski's lyrical and entrancing writing throughout the trilogy had my unconditional attention. It was impossible not to be invested in the story and care for the wellbeing of the characters. They have been through so much- surviving trials and weathering hardships- I'm elated to them prevail. The sacrifices they made and the pain they withstood were worth every sweet second of victory.

The POV jumped around quite a bit but there was never any doubt as to whose head we were in. I loved seeing each characters' undisguised feelings. With emotions running high and power struggles complicating matters the tension in the air was no joke. Nothing was simply black and white. Arin, Kestrel and company had to really use their wit to persevere.

For all the suffering Kestrel endured I wanted vengeance for her. Especially on her father given the way he turned his back on his own flesh and blood. It wasn't easy though so I loved how Ms. Rutkoski presented the warring feelings within Kestrel. His death wouldn't have made her hurt less. The emperor, on the other hand, got exactly what he deserved. Clever of Kestrel to employ his own games against him.

Marie Rutkoski ends the trilogy on a very satisfying note. I definitely see threads of possibilities for spin-off series which I definitely wouldn't mind. Hopefully some day Marie Rutkoski will let us revisit this keen world. If you're a fantasy lover, I can't say enough good things to push you to read The Winner's Trilogy. A must-read.

5 Cats


  1. Glad to know that this had a satisfying ending! I still have yet to read this series but maybe someday.

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. It's a trilogy full of emotions! I hope you do pick it up some day <3


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