Title: The Winner's Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 29th 2016
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?
This series is everything to me. The writing is gorgeous and so is the world. I'm ecstatic over the ending and also devastated that this series has ended.
I was really worried when I picked up The Winner's Kiss. I put off reading it for a while, because the first two novels in the series destroyed me and I was most definitely worried that this last book would destroy me also. However, when I picked it up, it was a joy to be immersed in this world again and meet Arin and Kestrel.
I don't really know how to review this novel without giving too much away about it. So I'll just say that this novel had some devastating parts and some happy parts. There were many times that I thought things were going to go horribly wrong. This novel was everything that I had hoped and wanted it to be.
The story begins where The Winner's Crime left off and picks up from there. In some ways, the story moved both quickly and slowly at the same time. There is a lot of action that intertwines with the slower burn of executing the intellectual plans that Kestrel is known for.
The characters develop some more in this novel, though Arin and Kestrel still retain those complicated parts to them that made their relationship complicated as well.
I'm going to finish off this review by waxing poetic about this series. I adore these books and they're filled with things that I love: a fantasy world, beautiful writing, political intrigue, complicated relationships. If you haven't read the first book, THE WINNER'S CURSE, I urge you to do so!
I received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.