Blog Tour & ARC Review: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski


The Winner's Kiss
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published March 24th 2016 by Bloomsbury Children's

Goodreads Synopsis
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 received an Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

I'm sure it will be no surprise that I loved this book. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't loved this series, and when I found out that The Winner's Kiss was up on NetGalley, I requested it so quickly. I was in the library doing research for an assignment when I got the email came through that I'd been approved, and let me tell you, it was extremely difficult to keep my attention on civil war battles when I knew I could read about Kestrel and Arin.

I've put off reviewing this book for a few weeks because I just can't organise my thoughts. Basically, the book was amazing, I loved it, and I'm sad the series is over.

In The Winner's Kiss, we dive back in just after the dramatic events of The Winner's Crime. Kestrel is on her way to the work camps in the north for her treason against the Valorians, and Arin has no idea as he's heading to defend Herrani. The final battle between Valoria and Herran is coming, and both with be crucial players in it. There's a lot of angst, and some quite sweet moments, but basically, I was a complete mess while reading it.

Kestrel remains one of my favourite YA heroines ever! As you can imagine, she had a quite tough time in this book, especially at the beginning, but she remained strong, even in her vulnerability. There were moments when my heart just broke whilst reading her PoV chapters, and I loved seeing her grow, and come to terms with the fact that her native Valorian people aren't the best, and she has more connection with the Herrani in reality.

Arin, well, he had to deal with a lot in this book too. He's the leader of the Herrani people, and has to come to terms with his responsibility to his people. At the same time, he's struggling with his feelings for Kestrel, especially when he thinks she is the cause of all his problems. When they finally come together again, both struggle with wanting to help the Herrani cause, when they can't really deal with their own issues.

The Winner's Kiss had a plot line that was simply sublime. So much was happening, but not too much that you couldn't keep up. After the action packed books 1 & 2, I didn't know how Marie could up the ante, but she definitely succeeded. Everything happened like I wished, and I can honestly say that I couldn't ask for more. The fact that Marie has done so much research whilst writing this book, including reading some of my favourite classical books, like Herodotus' The Histories, made it all the more better. The Winner's Trilogy will remain one of my all time favourite fantasy YA series, and I will basically shove it down everyone's throats until you pick up this series, and discover just how amazing it is. If I could, I would give it much more that 5 stars, it deserves all the stars!

Dates Read:
February 18-24, 2016

5 Stars

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