Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Oh, how long I have waited for this book. I can't believe I was lucky enough to get to read this book early. I had wished for it. And my wish came true. Eee. I am the most happy. Because I simply adore this series. I love this author. And these books. They are the best. And The Winner's Kiss was the best of them.

I knew I would love this book the most. Considering that awful and perfect ending of The Winner's Crime, I knew this book would be the best. And the most painful. I was not wrong. It is so heartbreaking. But it has hope and romance and friendships. There is a big war. Yet it is so happy at times too. Somewhat.

I could not have been happier with this book. The writing is beyond perfect. The story was everything I wanted and more. The characters are simply the best, always. I also got the romance I wanted, sort of. Don't want to spoil about all of that. But yeah. I was pleased with this book. Oh so pleased with it. And all of you will be too. Because it is heartbreaking. It is stunning. It is worth the wait. This book was worth everything. Oh, how much I loved it. But how do I even begin to talk about this book, without spoiling most of it. Ahh. I shall try my best. But do know that I will talk about one spoilery thing, as it happens pretty early in the book. I cannot ignore it. I must talk about it. It was my favorite part, well, one of my favorites.

In the end of book two, Kestrel has been sent to the work camp in Tundra. And oh, Arin has gone back home, without knowing this. I shall still never forgive him for what he did to her dagger. Hmph. I'm not a forgiving person about that, lol. But oh. This story. Arin is forgetting about Kestrel, as she hurt him so much. He is preparing for war, and working with Roshar to succeed. Meanwhile Kestrel is in prison. Being drugged daily. Losing her memories. Getting hurt. For about a month. Which was so painful to me. Sob.

To me, it was pretty obvious that Arin would figure out, eventually, where Kestrel really were. And he does. And oh, it was the most beautiful thing. His guilt. It was heartbreaking. It was beautiful. I loved every moment of it. A rescue came. And it was so awful. So perfect. I loved reading about Kestrel at this prison. How she started to forget things. How she wanted to remember. How she wanted to escape. And that one time she tried. What happened after. Shudders. I cannot. It was simply perfect. So good.

I know, I know. I shouldn't feel so happy about my characters being in pain. But I can't help it. I had wished for this pain for so long, and I was thrilled when I got it. It hurt so bad. It was written so well. Everything about it was perfect. Stunning. So emotional. Everything I had wanted and more. Sigh. I cannot deal with this book. The plot is so exciting. Reading about Arin and Kestrel together, finally, but still apart. Still having issues, because Kestrel remembers so little. She is so hurt. Yet they bond. A bit.

And oh, how beautiful this book was. I loved Arin and Kestrel the very most. Seeing them get to know each other again. How they talk. And don't talk. It was so special to me to read about. I adore them both so much. And oh, how painful it was. I wish they had talked about a few things, but I understood why they didn't, and I loved it even so. There weren't any drama. There weren't any love triangles. Though one could have been, but it never ever was, and I am so happy about it. Oh, this book was good. Sigh.

There is so much I want to say about this book. I just. I cannot. I loved it the most. The romance. Perfection. So much swoon. The friendships. So precious. Sarsine was so amazing to Kestrel. I loved it the most. And gosh, Roshar. He became so precious to me. I love him so much. His friendship with Arin is the sweetest. I love them together. And he was great with Kestrel too. I just. I cannot. He was an amazing person. And he had been hurt a lot. And oh, it hurt my heart. I want to read more about him.

I found the ending of this book, this series, to be the very best. It had everything I had been hoping for. I could not have loved it more. It made me so happy. Though there is one small thing that bothers me, that makes me wish there had been an epilogue. I don't know what happened to one character. If that relationship will get fixed. And I wish to know. I wish to know so badly. Hmph. But anyway. These is no epilogue. And I want there to be one so badly. Shall cross all my fingers that one might come some day.

I cannot stop writing about this book. I just. I loved it the most. And reading it was so special to me. It meant the most. I cannot wait to re-read these books again and again. I never re-read book in a series without reading the first one first, but I think I will have to read this one again once I get my finished copies. The Winner's Kiss was everything I wanted it to be. It was full of heartbreak, hope, friendships. The writing is stunning. The characters even more so. I loved every moment of this book. Perfection.

I simply must mention more about this book. I didn't say much about the plot at all. But anyway. There is a war against the emperor. Whom is still the most awful person. Shudders. I still adore his son, though. There is a lot of dead people. It was awesome, yet mean. I still don't like Kestrel's father. I won't ever forgive him for what he did to her. I can't. But I'm still curious about him. There is so much happening in this book. So much heartbreak. And hope. And good things. So many characters too. It was all amazing.

I love all the covers for this book and series. So much. But for this review, I'm using the UK paperback edition, as this was the eARC that I read. I will, of course, be buying all the different versions. Even the new covers, as they are pretty awesome too. But yeah. These covers are simply perfection. So stunning. So amazing. I have so much love for everything about these books. Sigh. The writing is gorgeous. Oh, how I love these books that Marie has written. They are huge favorites of mine. Will never forget them.

I forgot something. And so I am editing my review to add it. I did not mention how much I love Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel is so broken in this book. Yet she is the strongest and so brave. I loved how she was a part of the war planning. I loved how she got stronger. She's the best. And Arin is so amazing. He grows so much in this book, which I loved. He's gentle with Kestrel, which I loved. A bit weird with his god, lol. He's a bit insecure, which I loved so much too. He is simply the sweetest. Oh, I love them both so much.

The biggest of thank yous to the UK publisher, Bloomsbury Children's, for putting this precious book on Netgalley. And for accepting my request right away. It meant the very most to me. Especially since I had no other way of reading it early. And especially since I have been so jealous and heartbroken that others got to read it last month, and I did not. But now I got to read it too, more than a month before publish, and oh, it means the most to me. Just, thank you. Thank you so much. I loved this book the very most.


  1. OH goodness, Carina--I haven't read this series past the first book because I didn't love it (I didn't dislike either, I just didn't LOVE it lol), but now reading your review of this one makes me want try books two and three! I'm so glad you got to read this one early, I know how excited you were for it. Beautiful review, dear!

  2. I almost sobbed reading your review. Like, hearing about all the things Kestrel and Arin have to go through. Aaah, I so want the book. And you have now made my need for it even greater.
    So many "love it so much" :) But I totally get you. These books are amazing. The beginning was slow, but then they grip you and that's it. :)
    I'm almost envious you got the eARC. I wasn't approved QQ But I wasn't really expecting for that to happen, so that's okay. :D But I had to try, you know.
    Thanks for the amazing and loving review.
    Dita @ A Lazy Squirrel's Reading Guide

  3. Gah. It doesn't sound like fun. Nope. I don't know if my heart can take it. *sobs*

  4. Your review is perfectly non-spoiler-y, in my opinion. You captured the book really well! I loved this book so much and I am so, so happy that you did too, Carina. :)

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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