The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | Review

        Title: The Winner’s Kiss

       Author: Marie Rutkoski

      Release Date: March 24th, 2016


I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
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?

I feel like I’ve been on a long and extreme emotional journey at the hands of Marie Rutkoski. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Winner’s Trilogy is one of my favourite series of all time. I fell in love with Arin and Kestrel in The Winner’s Curse, my love continued to grow in The Winner’s Crime (which you can read about in my review) and it grew some more in the final instalment of the fantastic series, The Winner’s Kiss.

The Winner’s Crime had an oh my gosh cliffhanger, it left me with so many feels that I had to try and sort out! All I wanted from The Winner’s Kiss was some sort of resolution! Obviously I wanted Arin and Kestrel together, but it got to the point where I just wanted Arin to stop hating and denying his love for Kestrel, and Kestrel to get out of the work camp.

Because yes, Kestrel is in a work camp, where she is drugged into a shadow of her former self. And for anyone who’s read the previous books you’ll know that Kestrel is witty and intelligent, while not capable in battle she uses her intelligence and brain to outwit her opponents. This makes her a really interesting character, the political intrigue within all of the books within the trilogy makes them highly enjoyable, and there’s always an element of what the hell is going to happen next.

The Winner’s Kiss is a low fantasy, there isn’t magic or fae like some fantasies that I’ve read, but the relationships and the world building in these books are just something else! Throughout all three of the books Marie Rutkoski has crafted a vivid world, and I’m not sure I’m ready for the series to be over!

Arin and Kestrel are possibly my favourite OTP of all time, and I think it’s safe to say that I ship them!! My love for The Winner’s Trilogy has had me telling everyone left, right and centre to read these books! It’s got to the point I hands down want to play Kestrel in any adaptation (a girl can dream!)

In my opinion The Winner’s Kiss was the perfect end to the trilogy, everything got wrapped up and I was not disappointed by this fantastic conclusion!

Have you read any of the books in the series? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘The Winner’s Kiss’ by Marie Rutkoski
5 Stars

Monthly Wrap Up | March 2016

I only managed to read one book between the months of January and February, something I shared in my February Wrap Up. The reading slump continued long through March, and then with the arrival of the Easter weekend I dusted off two whole books! This might not seem like much, but these two books saw the end of an over two month reading slump! I’m now on my Easter break and you know I’ll be picking up book after book!

I don’t have reviews up for either of these two books yet, but expect reviews on them both in April!

What I Read

In Real Life by Jessica Love
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Currently Reading

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
As I mentioned in last month’s Wrap Up, I started reading Pride and Prejudice as a means to end the slump, while that was working, my life got really busy and stressful, so I had to put P+P down. Now that I am back reading again I will definitely be finishing of the final half of Pride and Prejudice, once I finish re-reading Fangirl! And can I just say, I’m loving Fangirl even more the second time round! I feel that I relate to Cath incredibly, with her shyness, romantic boy life, and love of reading. As I’m reading I keep pausing and thinking “Hey, that’s totally me!” 
What books have you read during March? Let me know in the comments!

Most Anticipated Releases of 2016

There looks to be lots of really great books coming out this year, and I’ve selected a few that I’m really looking forward to! I’m sure as we move through the year more and more books will be added to the list, but for now here are my Most Anticipated Releases of 2016!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – May 3rd, 2016
A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of my favourite books of 2015, there was just so much to love! I’m eagerly anticipating the release of the second book and I can’t wait for more Feyre!
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – February 11th, 2016
Red Queen definitely ended with a cliffhanger, leaving me with more than a few questions, which will hopefully be answered in Glass Sword.
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – March 24th, 2016
The first two books in this trilogy are two of my all time favourite books, so of course I’m excited for the release of the final instalment of The Winner’s Trilogy!! I’ve even gone so far as to buy hardcover copies of the first two books, to match the hardcover copy that I (will very soon) be preordering!
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – May 3rd, 2016
This is another case of ‘this book is part of a series and I need to keep reading’. I loved The Wrath and The Dawn and am really looking forward to The Rose and The Dagger!
The Crown by Kiera Cass – May 3rd, 2016
I’ve been meaning to read The Heir for a while now, and I finally got around to it during my Christmas break, and of course it ended on a cliffhanger, and now I need to read The Crown to find out what happens!
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – April 5th, 2016
I’ve never read anything by Richelle Mead before but this book sounds incredible!
Throne of Glass Book #5 by Sarah J. Maas – September 8th, 2016
Okay so I haven’t even read books three or four in the series, but that doesn’t stop my eager anticipation!!
That’s my (preliminary) list of anticipated 2016 releases, which books are you looking forward to this year? Let me know if I’ve missed out any that are on your list!

Waiting On Wednesday | The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

‘Waiting On’ Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: 1st March, 2016

Description from Goodreads:
War has begun. Ari is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognise: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people – and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.


But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

The Winner’s Curse quickly became one of my favourite books when I read it in May last year, and The Winner’s Crime followed when I read it at the beginning of this year (read my review). I can’t express how much I loved these books, I’d have to say that they’re probably my favourite series! It’s safe to say that The Winner’s Crime finished with a rather large cliffhanger, and I’ve been waiting patiently since February to find out what the hell is going to happen!
Kestrel and Arin are my favourite OTP, so I really want to read the final instalment in the trilogy. And let me just say that I’m really hoping that things start going right for them in this book! And by right I mean, they end up happily ever after, because I love them together.
This synopsis sound so good! In my review of The Winner’s Crime I point blank stated that Arin needs to get his sh*t together, and after reading the synopsis of The Winner’s Kiss again, I’m reminded all too well of those feelings! 
I honestly don’t think that a book series has caused so many emotions as what I’ve read of The Winner’s Trilogy has.
March can’t come soon enough!
What book are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!