Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Kiss
Series: The Winner's Trilogy (#3)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 24th March 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers to other books in the series*

With his Eastern allies by his side, Arin sets about trying to win the war for Herran while believing that Kestrel never cared. Caught and charged with being a traitor, Kestrel is sent to one of the work camps of the Empire, drugged and slowly forgetting who she is but still holding hope she'll be rescued by the person she loves.

Oh the absolute feels from this book! I loved the first two books in this series, but they did knock me for six a bit. My heart has broken over and over for Arin and Kestrel and I went into this book really not having a clue how it could end but still hoping for the best. As it was the ending was simply beautiful and the perfect fit for the story and the characters.

At the beginning of the book I was trying to yell at Arin for being seemingly clueless about Kestrel's activities in the previous book especially when she was doing it all out of love. I was also losing hope a bit for Kestrel who seemed to be forgetting who she was.

Once Arin and Kestrel were back together the story focused on two different things; the war itself and on their relationship. This is probably actually the least complicated book for their relationship, even though Kestrel suffered from memory loss. There's less secrets between them and they're not trying to hide from anyone. In fact I had a lot of "awww" moments for the two of them. There were lots of little sweet things that made me smile.

Rutkoski did a great job of capturing the suspense of battle scenes at the same time as not dragging them out. I'm not a massive battle fan and I don't like them dragged out, so this was perfect for me and I thought it balanced well with the strategy and politics in the book.

One of the reasons that I like Kestrel so much is that she is seen the same as any man. (Well except for by Arin, but I believe that worry was very much mutual!) She was just as smart and when it came to military strategy the male characters listened to her. Saying that she wasn't perfect, and that was a strength of all the characters in the book; they weren't perfect.

This is a complex series full of complex characters and I absolutely loved it.