Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
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 received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When you think series end you immediately start to internally panic. Whether it is a book or a movie or a TV show an ender can only go one of two ways. You can either be blown away by how the author/writer/director ended things or you can be so disappointed that the series will forever be ruined. I have had both happen and the disappointment sucks. Insert The Winner’s Kiss. Having been late to the party with the series I became an immediate fan after reading The Winner’s Curse. I then devoured The Winner’s Crime and was itching to see how everything would unfold. Would I be over the moon with perfection or would I be broken and sad because the ending didn’t meet my expectations. The verdict? Marie went above and beyond because The Winner’s Kiss was utter perfection and possibly the best of the series.
Holy book filled with action! If you read the other two books you saw it coming as everything was leading up to all of this, but it still didn’t stop my heart from almost beating out of my chest. Everything in The Winner’s Kiss was done in a way that unfolded the story beautifully but made me terrified to turn a page as I never knew what was going to happen. The lives of Arin and Kestrel were vastly different from the first book and so much more was at stake based on everything they had been through. But seriously it was all so fantastic. Even the parts that made my heart stop with worry or love or sadness or joy.
The trouble with a 3rd book a lot of the time is the cohesion. I admit, I forget a lot about some books between releases. I remember some stuff but not everything so I love when an author can use what happened in the past parts of the story but not just list them out. Marie did this flawlessly. Everything that lead up to Arin and Kestrel being where they were was explained but in a way that didn’t feel explained. It felt like a natural progression of the story.
I mean what can I even say about Arin and Kestrel? I mentioned before that they were vastly different than they were in The Winner’s Curse. They had a lot of things happen to them that changed how they perceived the world and even each other. But they never truly lost what made them them. I feel as a readers we really got to know these two complex characters in a way we hadn’t in the previous 2 books. Something has happened that changed their story but it made them both stronger in the end and I loved that.
I know I’m being vague. I did that on purpose as I don’t want to give away what happened in the first two books or what goes down in the third. What I can tell you is that this was Marie’s best work. I felt every emotion you can think of when reading The Winner’s Kiss. Honestly it was utter perfection. It was more than I could have hoped for in a series end and something I think every fan will love and that new fans should try out this fantastic series.