• Page Count: 496
  • Release Date: March 29, 2016
  • My Rating: 4.5 stars

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) 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?



Mmmmk I did love this book, but just needed MORE between Kestrel and Arin after everything they went through. So I am frustrated but also adore this series?

Almost 80% of this soap opera was the drawn out angst and even more missed communications, which just got old. And the stuff with Kestrel started to really feel like a plot device. All of the confusion and tension that had built up so well in the previous two books just fizzled out here in what felt more like some side comment. Like if I had to suffer through all of that torture and waiting, I want something MORE.

And if the romance wasn’t going to be the focus of the story, then I wanted a better war. Instead of showing other soldiers (because there’s no way three 20 year-olds are the only leaders here) or even giving a name/face to any other character in the army, the focus is on Arin & Kestrel’s drama of what ISN’T happening with them… just give me something somewhere pleeeeease. But the fact that I’m this emotionally invested definitely speaks for how great this series is!

I absolutely loved the character development and how Arin & Kestrel both grew as individuals, but would have liked to see something more in line with where the first 2 books were heading… a focus on an actual war or their relationship coming together. Not half of each.

BUT I still enjoyed this book overall (especially the first half) and recommend this series if you like YA fantasy!!



13 comments on “Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski”

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  4. – Charlotte, it appears the Austro-Hungarian empire stretched far enough to leave delicious baked pastry dishes to develop their own brilliance with a Croatian touch. Even at 30 degree summer weather at a seaside bar it tasted wonderful.Astrid – it’s great, isn’t it? Where did you go?Thanks so much, Amanda. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you like it. How’s winter in Vancouver treating you?November 24, 2010 – 2:33 pm

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