Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Released: 10th of March 2016
Other Books in the Series:
The Winner's Curse
The Winner's Crime
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?
What I Have to Say
On the Series in General
As with a lot of people, this series captured me from the first book. I fell in love with the setting, with Kestrel, with the way it was written and of course, with Arin. It just has something. Something that pulls you inside the book and makes it a beautiful, rich and immersive experience.
On The Winner's Kiss
The thing I realised when starting to read the Winner's Kiss was how much the book has changed. It has always been a fantasy war book. It has always been very involved with the politics of the countries it is set in, but where the first one was focused on the romance between Arin and Kestrel, the second one became more about the politics of the court. It became about lies and spying and going behind one another's backs. The Winner's Kiss is different again. Eventually it becomes a war book, but I'm not even sure how to categorize the first half.
What I can say about it, is that it was completely not how I expected the series to go. The drugs and other things that I won't say to avoid spoilers, were a very interesting twist. It's the thing about Rutkoski's writing. You just have no idea what she's going to do next or what direction she's going to take the story in, but it's almost written to make you think that you do.
I'm really sad that this series is over, but I'm glad of how it ended. It really was a beautiful series.