THE WINNER'S KISS
by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy (Book 3)
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 29, 2016)
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 12 hours and 13 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Listening Library
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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.(Read Sara & Andye's review here)
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?
Why do good things have to come to an end? Why do I have to say goodbye to this series? Why, why, WHY?! I am currently going through the stages of grief while writing this review, currently: denial. Maybe this review will be cathartic and I’ll be able to work through my book hangover and hopefully pick up a new book up after this, but I just can’t make myself any promises, this series is so hard to part with.
The Winner’s Kiss picks ups right where The Winner’s Crime left off. Kestrel’s dad knows everything, Arin knows nothing, and this war is about to come to a fury. Okay, that might’ve been a little harsh to Arin, he’s not Jon Snow, he knows things; just not the important Kestrel things and the true identity of our Moth. While Arin is preparing to overthrow the empire with uncertain allies, Kestrel is taken prisoner to work in an intense boot camp for her letter of truth and treason.
While I would LOVE to sit here and tell you all about The Winner’s Kiss I would never deprive someone from experiencing a book for the first time, especially this book/series. The twist and turns, the plotting, the games, the conniving, and the swoony moments are things you don’t want someone to ruin for you. Since I won’t give away any secrets, I will tell you that I did do this book on audio and had a blast with the narrator, Justine Erye. I am tad picky when it comes to the audiobooks I’ll listen to, I really need them to become the characters, switching up the voices, heavy infliction when needed and just an enjoyable voice that I just don't want to stop listening to. And Justine Erye was perfect! A lot of laundry and cleaning got done while I was listening to it.
UGH I just don’t think I have worked through my grief for the ending of this series. And series are so much harder to work through, you’ve been with those characters for many books, over multiple years, it’s hard to say goodbye. I think I skipped a step or two, I am very much still in denial that it’s the end, because Marie could definitely give us a novella, right?! Do you think I could bribe her?
Full disclosure - I really did enjoyed the ending of this series and it brought me to tears. Sometimes I just cry when things end because I’m happy to have had experienced them at all.