The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Published : 2016
Version Read : Hardback
Read More about it here.
Some kisses come at a price.
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 was so happy that I picked this up as my first book of 2017. It’s been sitting on my shelf waiting for January to hit and I flew through it in two days. Such a wonderful ending to an amazing trilogy.
There were so many parts of this book that made me cry, scream and laugh. It’s been a while since a book made me want to throw it across the room, for all the right reasons. When Kestrel asked Arin if she still owned him, and he said yes, I had a moment when I closed the book and asked my heart to be still. That moment touched me more than anything else in the book. I don’t want to give away the situation they were in, but ah, well played well played.
I felt the story wrapped up nicely and didn’t leave many (if any) loose ends for me. I would love to read more about the Prince and Eastern Princess and where they went, but for now I’ll make up stories in my head. I would highly recommend this to everyone. It was probably my second favorite read (the whole series) of last year.