Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski


Written by: Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 29th 2016
Pages: 484, hardcover
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy, #3
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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?


The Winner’s Curse was the very first ARC I ever got my hands on. I’d never read High Fantasy before that point in time, I wasn’t very sure about reading it either. I’d never really read lyrical prose before then either. Which if you’ve followed this blog for any real amount of time you know that there are two things that sell me on a book faster than anything: Prose and High Fantasy. That is all thanks to the amazing Marie Rutkoski and this amazing series.

I didn’t know how Rutkoski was going to wrap up this series, if you read the end of The Winner’s Crime…..yeah. That thing happened. That cliffhanger happened. I’m still not really over it, even knowing how everything has been solved.

The Winner’s Kiss gave such an epic synopsis to bring this book to such a climax, I cannot even. I really can’t. Don’t expect me to be very coherent in this review.


*Whines loudly. Rolling across the floor* Why is this always so hard? I didn’t know how to even start with this book on what did work, let alone here in what didn’t work. I loved this book with soul crushing love that how do I discuss it?

Alright, I think, maybe, there could’ve been some more to the book, like I think that the book could have had a few less jumps between things and a few more real stories? I don’t really know.

How about I didn’t like how there is no more to this series? How about the fact that this series is now over? I hate that.


*Still whining and rolling across the floor* Seeing Kestrel and Arin, and how far they’ve come. Seeing how they finally had to talk, how they had to break down those walls they built up for two books. They had to finally rely on each other in a pure and amazing way. Finally these two idiots had to really talk and understand each other instead of just assuming time and time again.

I have to admit I was extremely worried at the start of the book things happen, and so many things happened that I didn’t know where this story was going to go. It set the pace that all bets were off in this book, and in truth it scared me (Scared me so much that at one point my Mom caught me just hugging my cat and goes “Honey…you’re not okay…do you need to go get food?” And the answer was yes. Because I wasn’t okay at all) this book just drove at an insane pace that kept me reading all day long.

My babies though. Just my utterly wonderful children. I love them. I want to hug them. I am just so happy.

I think that’s the real thing about this book, I feel like this review just barely touches how wonderful this book was, how great of a wrap up for the series this book was. Because in truth it was the most amazing wrap up that I ever could have imagined. I was terrified, but I was also so happy and just overall I cannot begin to talk about how amazing this book was. Because it was, it was amazing and everything I could’ve ever hoped for.


If you haven’t read The Winner’s Trilogy then you are missing out on one of the best series that exists. This series is really something amazing, so take it off your shelf, or go out and buy it. Just binge read the entire trilogy. You will not ever regret it. I promise.

Thank you Marie for such an amazing series, thank you for a book series that I will reread often..


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One thought on “Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

  1. What a wonderful blog you have here! I haven’t read the Winner’s Trilogy yet, but there is a lot of hype surrounding it at the moment. Also, aren’t the covers just gorgeous??? Happy Reading! 🙂


    -Jess @jbelkbooks

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