Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski.

Title – The Winner’s Kiss
Author – Marie Rutkoski
Series – The Winner’s Trilogy #3
How I Got It – Publisher
Pages – 484 pages
Publication Date – March 24th 2016 by Bloomsbury
ISBN – 9781408858745
RRP – $17.99 NZD
My Rating – ★★★★/5

The empire is at war and a heartbroken Arin must lead his people into battle. But he can’t keep Kestrel out of his head for long. Or her betrayal. Kestrel is a sly, ruthless killer who care more about getting glory for the empire than the lives of innocent people and definitely more than him. At least, that’s what she’s let him believe.

Kestrel is in the north, sentenced to life imprisonment in a brutal work camp. She desperately searches for an escape while wishing Arin knew the sacrifices she made for him. Kestrel wants to make the empire pay for what they’ve done. But no one gets what they want by wishing for it.

I was sent a copy of The Winner’s Kiss from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. This is the last book in The Winner’s Trilogy. If you want to read my reviews of the first two books you can here –> The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime. After the endingCkoAPXsUkAEf068 in The Winner’s Crime I was so glad I was able to just dive straight into this. I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy and even though The Winner’s Kiss dragged for me in places I still really liked it.

I think the parts I struggled with were the beginning, with Kestrel in the work camp. Arin’s point of view, especially the parts where he’s having a conversation with a god in his head… That was a little weird for me. I know this is fiction but it’s never been mentioned before that Arin can communicate with this god and that he’s protected by him but all of a sudden there he is, in Arin’s head. I just couldn’t get my head around it. But it didn’t happen that much so I was able to get over it.

The ‘war’ also dragged for me a little but then I kind of expected it to because I don’t like reading about battles all that much. I find my mind drifting but there were things that broke it up too. That also might be why it dragged. It wasn’t just one huge battle and then done, dead people and a winner. I liked that it was mostly mind games and trying to outwit the enemy rather than out kill them. Kestrel is very smart that way.

There was a character that came into the last book (last two? I can’t remember), Roshar, that I loved. I wasn’t 100% sure he could be trusted but he was funny and had this charm to him that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed Kestrel and Arin’s relationship, but it too them long enough to get their act together. Or, it did for Kestrel anyway.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like this book but I really did. Yes, it dragged a bit but I still read it pretty fast and couldn’t put it down. I love Kestrel and Arin and although I loved this world I think it ended in the right place. I’d like to see what happened to them in the future but I think that would ruin the story by dragging it out.

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

Have you read The Winner’s Trilogy? What did you think of it?

– Aimee.

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