The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Goodreads Summary: 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?
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review: When I started reading The Winner's Kiss, I feared that I wouldn't remember the characters and plot, like when I read Cruel Crown. However, none of this happened.
What had happened in previous books had still remained inside me, slightly deeper than the surface, but definitely reachable. I remembered the characters, their roles, and everything else from the start.
Kestrel is still paying for the aftermath and discoveries that occurred in The Winner's Crime. Arin, on the other hand can't stop thinking about her while he leads the Herrani army against Valoria.
The Winner's Trilogy is set in a rich, fantastical world that I really like. The storyline is divided into two parts: Part I, Struggle, and Part II, Victory. There are some plot twists, which I enjoyed, but I really hoped there would be more.
The Winner's Kiss was a very enjoyable, relatively quick read. Kestrel is a really good character that I admire, and I really like how Kestrel and Arin's love story is so difficult, and finally is put to a rest in the finale.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book: Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of Fantasy and Court Intrigue.