The Winner’s Kiss (Winner’s Curse #3)
by Marie Rutkoski
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?
Very satisfied indeed.
Remember when book 1 and 2 were achingly frustrating because Arin were Kestrel were running around in circles because of the endless deceit and liars? Well, that all finally stopped in this book.
I have to say this book was thoroughly entertaining yet also cliched when it came to the romance. But I didn’t really see the cliches till I finished the book because I was in the mood for some cliche romance because we girls need some from time to time. Anyway, what I mainly enjoyed about this book was the fact that the romance was quickly dealt with at the beginning and the focus was mainly on the whole war. And when the focus did switch back to the romance there wasn’t an annoying romantic obstacle like book 1 and 2 – there was mainly cute chit chat and I love cute chit chat!
I remember book 2 ended with almost no way out of the complication. The war was just too big, Kestrel had dug herself in a really deep hole and the whole world was in one big hot mess. I applaud Ms Rutkoski on managing to unwind all the mess her characters put themselves in. We ended book 2 with Kestrel’s father’s betrayal and her being shipped to a work camp (WAS ANYONE ELSE REMINDED OF THE END OF ASSASSIN’S BLADE?!). It was utterly horrifying to read about the drugs they fed her and the HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCE OF THAT. As you can see I’m trying to keep this review spoiler free. But if y’all know what I’m talking about – I like Kestrel better because of what the drugs did. Is that terrible of me? Omg, I’m such a bad person.
Let’s move on to Arin. Yeah, he was the same – mopey yet hot, determined yet love-sick guy I hate/love. It’s complicated. There was good ol’ Arin coming to Kestrel’s rescue at the beginning and then Kestrel saving the day at the end of the book. It was a pretty predictable read. But I give credit to Kestrel’s plan at the end because WOAH, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.
I definitely enjoyed all the war politics in this book. Kestrel finally used her battle senses and I think we all love reading about a girl step into a badass role. Who else loved Roshar?! His humour and his narcissism was hilarious. He really lightened the whole tone of the book and just made the whole story more balanced because both Kestrel and Arin are really serious characters. I wanted more of him – more depth into his character and his relationship with his sisters but awwww, his friendship with Kestrel and Arin was just adorable.
All in all, it is a satisfying end to the trilogy. I was definitely less annoyed reading this book because all the romantic drama finally settled down. The storyline was predictable, the romance cliched but the war politics and Kestrel’s new personality pretty cool.