5 Things About The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

August 24, 2016 Review 12 ★★★★½

5 Things About The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Source: Purchased
Pages: 484
Release Date: March 29th, 2016
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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?

Not as painful as expected

THE WINNER’S CRIME was so emotionally painful, I was bracing myself for this to be just as painful. I did cry at the start but after that… it was surprisingly okay. Not many people died, things were happier and less angsty. It was strange, but nice.

Roshar is so charming


I bloody love Roshar. He’s so bloody funny and really broke up some of the intense scenes. He’s definitely the comic relief. Would be highly entertained by an entire book about him and his tiger, Arin.

Suspenseful battle scenes

This is something that’s new to the series. I mean there’s been action scenes before, but not as many as in THE WINNER’S KISS. And they’re intense. They switch back and forth, keeping you guessing and scared for the characters lives. So many close calls were seen. Not to mention some really great battle strategies.

I would have loved to see more of some secondary characters


I do really love Kestral and Arin and their relationship and life as characters on there own, but there are some intriguing side characters I wish got more page time. Namely Verex and Risha. We only get glimpses of those two, which was hardly enough to scratch the surface. I want to explore their positions, their conflicts, and their motivations. Not just see them pop up every now and then for plot things.

Satisfying Ending

THE WINNER’S KISS wrapped up the trilogy really well. I didn’t have many issues and am quite satisfied with how it ended, especially since I was bracing my self for intense bittersweet emotions. I really couldn’t ask for better.

banner divide

After THE WINNER’S CRIME I was expecting THE WINNER’S KISS to be filled with emotional pain. Surprisingly it wasn’t. I’m left feeling really happy with the ending and the characters. There were more fight scenes in this compared to the previous two books and less politics. This series is beautifully written and I’d recommend it to fans of high fantasy looking for an interesting romance that accompanies a good plot. 

Rating Report
Overall: 4.9

12 Responses to “5 Things About The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski”

  1. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    I completely agree Bec. I was expecting a bit more pain (I mean, it’s clear with all those heart-wrenching cliffhangers that Rutkoski knows how to break reader’s hearts), but it was still a really satisfying conclusion to the series nonetheless. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…The YA Olympics

  2. Puput @ Sparkling Letters

    I so agree with you on expecting it to be really really painful! The Winner’s Crime is hands down one of the most heartbreaking book I’ve ever read and I somehow felt… a bit let down. I braced myself for some seriously sick plot twists but The Winner’s Kiss turned out to be less emotional. But I’m also happy to see the relationship between Kestrel and Arin and the battles are so intense! and I hear you on wanting for scenes about Verex and Risha. I was actually surprised to see Risha suddenly played a big part on this book. Nonetheless, I definitely enjoyed it and The Winner’s trilogy is one of my favorite series of ever <3
    Puput @ Sparkling Letters recently posted…The Scavenger Hunt Book Tag

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Lovely review^^ I own the first book but haven’t started it yet. I will soon though^^ Reading your thoughts on the conclusion was excellent because now I know that the series ends on a high note…I always worry going into a series that the books will get less good as the series progresses. I’m really pleased that the conclusion delivered for you :D
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Across the Wall by Garth Nix

    • Bec

      Omg I forgot about Jess. She disappeared to be with her family and a pretty clear “I don’t want to be friends anymore” but I wonder what will happen now that it’s all over

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