Title: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 29th 2016
Some kisses come at a price.
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 mean this is in the most honest way possible, I don’t think I’ve ever read a trilogy that wrapped up as well as this one did. I mean, it’s like everything worked out perfectly. I can’t think of a single way this could have been any better than it already was. There are a lot of trilogies that have plot holes, or the author started something and it never actually got wrapped up, and I hate those.
I think my favorite part of this book, without spoiling anything just yet, was the fact that Arin and Kestrel’s relationship finally bloomed in the way I just knew that it would. They’ve been so angsty and always arguing with each other, never actually communicating properly, and now it’s like they’re finally working together in this book. And it was amazing to watch.
You guys, I honestly can’t begin to explain how I felt reading this book. The best way for me to explain it is that I finally felt that same giddy, fangirling feeling I got when I was reading about my OG OTP, Clary and Jace, for the first time. It took so long, aka only two other books, to build up this relationship between Kestrel and Arin, but it was so worth the wait. I mean, it actually only took two days for me to get to The Winner’s Kiss after finishing the first two books, but still, it felt like forever before these two were finally together.
And now for my actual favorite part:
THAT ENDING THO.
Okay, alrighty, alright alright, so if you haven’t finish this book yet, STOP READING HERE. Seriously, stop ya reading eyes now, because this next part is a huge spoiler and I definitely don’t want to be the reason you get spoiled!
So, it’s official, Kestrel has to be the smartest MC I have ever read about in my entire life. Every time I thought she was going to do one thing, she did the complete opposite and it worked out perfectly. I honestly have no idea how she even thought to do the things she did, because if I were in her situation I probably would have flipped my shit and married the prince and been with Arin in secret. I’m not good with confrontation when it’s done with swords and, ya know, death. I’d want to be like Kestrel, really I would, but I’m not smart enough. I’m just not.
She’s an actual genius.
When she was playing cards with the emperor, and she avoided all the marked ones, I knew something was up, but I would have never guessed she’d poisoned them! If that’s not pure brilliance, I don’t know what is. I just need to take a moment to clap it out, man.
I have a thousand and one more things I want to talk about with this book and series, but I’m afraid it I started, I would never stop, and this review is already pretty long. So if anyone wants to share the feels about this series, seriously, I’m all ears. Lets fangirl.
I hope everyone has a fantabulous day/evening/morning/whenever you’re reading this and happy reading!