The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

An unforgettable, emotional epic ending

The Winner’s Trilogy # 3 …. 4.5 stars

“There is a difference between you and me. If I die, you’ll survive. If you die, it will destroy me.” -Arin

The Winner’s Kiss combined all the best parts of The Winner’s Curse (book 1) and The Winner’s Crime (book 2); there’s more character development, more tender moments for Arin and Kestrel, more plot twists, tension and strategy games between Herran, Valoria and Dacra. You’ll feel as if you’re reading a chess game, you’ll end up second guessing every choice made by the characters, and you’ll discover that trust is such a delicate, precious commodity in times of love, friendship and war. 

What I loved most about this book is what was left “unsaid”. Much of the feelings and emotions were inferred through simple actions and clipped dialogue between the characters e.g. a nod of acknowledgement, a tender look between characters, gestures of thanks and forgiveness, a sigh of resignation, a meaningful touch, or a perceptive remark. It makes the story heartfelt; the emotions delicate, exquisite and raw. It also added more depth to the characters. There’s not many YA books I would re-read but I would re-read this book as I loved the way it’s written. The Winner’s Trilogy is well worth the investment! Recommended for readers that love political intrigue, plot twists, love, ‘everything hanging on the balance’ moments and character development.

Other great quotes:

“She thought of her past. Her whole life. ‘I want better choices’
‘Then we must make a world that had them.'”

“‘It’s not like you to question someone’s friendship.’…
‘Maybe I should’
‘Maybe it would make you less yourself, if you did'”

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”


Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

– NJ