08 July, 2016


Title: The Winner's Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 496

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SYNOPSIS: 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?
Even though I didn't enjoy the second book that much I immediately continued with the last one because I was told it was much better and they were right. It was much better.

THE WORLD: Same world as in the previous books.

CHARACTERS: Same characters as in previous books. We have Kestrel and her "I don't know who I am anymore" in the beginning but she finally figures everything out around the middle of the book. Then we have Arin, who made me fall in love again with him after the fiasco of the 2nd book (ugh, I don't like angsty books) and we have a new character called Roshar who is Risha's and the eastern queen's brother. He was interesting and I really liked his dynamics with Arin, their banter always made me laugh! Those are the main characters but some old ones are mentioned a bit like Ronan, Jess, the emperor, prince Verex, Tensen, and Kestrel's father. Between all of them they probably had like... 15 lines in total in this book. Poor them. It wasn't a problem for me though since I didn't care about them but it felt odd to have all these characters and not know anything about them.

LOVE: Finally my ship sailed. Took them long enough, jesus christ. But all those scenes aaawww *swoons* ♥ Now, I am left wondering if another pair made it or it was just "a game"... it didn't specify! Not fair.

PLUS: The plot picked up quickly and was therefore much more enjoyable than the previous book. The first chapters are already shocking and you read them so fast! Then the middle gets a bit slower but it's also good to have a break to breathe so I was actually glad for this pause. Then the end again happens in a blur and omg what? whoa yas slay! sshuuusshshhh fffiuuuu pew pew yeah there is a huge battle going on and it was great!

I was also glad about the character development. All characters moved passed their fears, angst, doubts, pain, anger, etc at some point in the book which I accepted quickly. No need to dwell in the past and getting stuck forever and ever ;)

MINUS: My main complaints are SPOILER that I didn't like how she played the whole memory loss thing... I mean how do you forget years of your life in only one month just because of a drug? END OF SPOILER.
Also, the ending didn't leave me satisfied... there are still many many questions unanswered and the fate of some countries, the pairings... I don't know it was too open! If you introduce a little plotwist you could write another trilogy out of these books.

OVERALL: 4.5 stars. Overall it was a more enjoyable read and it had more plot and action! I think it's a good way to end a series but the ending was too open for my liking... nonetheless that's only a minor point.

seriously the new covers suck

What did you guys think about THE WINNER'S KISS?