No spoilers in this review of The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski!
I give it 3.5 stars.
Kestrel and Arin have all of the ingredients to make my favorite kind of love story. Yes, there are lies, yes, there is deceit, and oh yes it is quite forbidden, but there is also a soul changing connection between them that longs to overcome their seemingly impossible circumstance. Marie Rutkoski’s poetic writing was beautiful to read and enhanced the drama and romance. I found some wonderful book quotes throughout this trilogy.
The main plot of this book, especially the first half, is all about these two main characters overcoming the lies, distance, race, war, and another even more difficult challenge: Kestrel’s own broken mind. Kestrel struggles find herself once again and reconcile her past with her future. Arin, loyal as always, waits as Kestrel faces her demons.
The relationship between Kestrel and Arin kept me turning the pages and I’m sure I will read it again some time. However, I think the story might have had more depth if we were presented with more of two things: 1) action, non-romantic drama surrounding the war and 2) supporting character development. Number two, the lack of additional characters, is my main complaint. Kestrel and Arin are constantly surrounded by people yet we don’t even know the names of more than a handful of them. Other than Roshar, a prince of Dacra, and very briefly, Arin’s cousin Sarsine there are very few interactions with other people. They do not make other friends or allies even among people that they travel, eat, sleep and fight along side throughout the book.
I recommend it to you if like a beautifully written love story. If this is you, you will enjoy this final installment of the Winner’s Curse Trilogy almost as much as you loved books one and two. If you need a little more action and depth in the things you read, you will likely become impatient for something to happen.
If you are about to read the Winner’s Kiss and need a refresher on the first two books read our recaps: The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime.
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