The Winner’s Kiss

The Winner’s Trilogy, Book #3

By Marie Rutkoski

ISBN# 9780374384739                                                                          

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of possible spoilers*

the-winners-kiss-the-winners-trilogyThe Final installment of the Winner’s Trilogy is finally upon us!  War has begun, the Valorians against the Herrani and the Easterners that Arin has allied with.  Arin feels that he’s been tricked by Kestrel after how things transpired while he was in the Empire.  He feels alone with just himself and the God of Death that speaks to him.

Arin has no idea the sacrifices that Kestrel has made for him.  He doesn’t know that Kestrel’s father turned her into the Emperor for treason and that she has been sent to the work camp in the tundra.  She tried to escape when she first arrived, but has since given up, living until her next dose of drugs they keep the prisoners there pumped with.

But a messenger arrives at Arin’s house with a tale of a Herrani woman being carted off to the tundra, a woman that gave him a moth to deliver to Arin.  A woman with the same rare star-shaped birthmark on her hand that Kestrel possesses.  He quickly realizes how wrong he was about Kestrel and rushes to her rescue.  However, when he finds her a shell of her former self, it breaks his heart.  But he failed her once and he will not fail her this time!  He will find a way to bring her back to herself, while protecting her from her father’s army as they battle to hold on to Herran and save his people from the Emperor.

“I want better choices.”

“Then we must make a world that has them.”

I was glad to finally get to read the book where Kestrel and Arin’s love would finally have a chance to blossom!  Unfortunately, this romance had to be cared for and cultivated carefully before it could truly bloom.  Not to mention the whole war thing getting in the way.  But this couple does finally get what they’ve both wanted for so long, the freedom to be together.

“There is a difference between you and me. If I die, you’ll survive. If you die, it will destroy me.”

I still love Arin and the love he has for Kestrel, even after thinking she had betrayed him.  I also loved the Eastern Prince, Roshar, and his constant jibes at Arin and even Kestrel on occasion.  He may have been the one thing that made the whole war bearable, as I’m not a fan of war books in general.

“When I look at you as if you’re crazy it’s not that I judge you for your insanity.”

This was a decent book, but the first installment, The Winner’s Curse, was still my favorite of the trilogy.