Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

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?

Rating: 4/5 Stars

And another series that comes to an end...


I know this review is kind of late because everybody has already read this book, but I’m always afraid of finishing series, so I try to push the last book away and away until I can’t resist anymore.

The Winner’s Kiss was an action-packed and fast paced book that lead readers into a heart-stopping finale. Although I did find it underwhelming in certain aspects, I still enjoyed it very much.

I don’t know what it is about this series, but I feel like it hit its peak in the first book and then slowly went down. I enjoyed The Winner’s Curse (just ask anybody I talked to when I finished it, I pretty much shoved it into everyone’s face saying they HAD to read it), but was quite disappointed with The Winner’s Crime; the second book felt like a filler, an in-between for the last book to come. The story basically consisted of Arin and Kestrel making assumptions about each other, but never talking about what was really happening because of “reasons”. 
Miscommunication as a plot device to create drama is not one of my favorite routes for a story, specially one that’s hard-core romance. That’s because, if the couple can’t do something so simple as to say “Hey, shit is going on” then I can’t believe that their romance is one for the ages, destined to be together forever… Blah, blah. I just can’t. The foundation for a healthy relationship is communication, but Kestrel and Arin couldn’t tell each other the most simple things because they were too damn proud and distrusting.

The third book goes away from all of that and it picks up where TWK ended; with Kestrel incarcerated and Arin on his way to war.
I wasn’t sure what direction the story was going to take, but I was surprised to see how certain things developed but then I was glad because it allowed the characters to develop in more complex ways. This is, by far, the more character-driven of the three books. It deals with hurt and forgiveness and how people deal with it.

Perhaps my one complaint is that it wasn’t as pumped as I was hoping this ending was going to be. I mean, yes there were some super tense moments that kept me glued to the page, but there were problems that were solved way too easily or weren’t even paid any attention to when this was THE END of the story.

Overall, a good ending and great for the fans of the series!

PS: I had written this review on the 16th, but totally forgot to post it!

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