My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski was a book that I was both excited and nervous about reading because I hoped that it would be more like The Winner’s Crime and less like The Winner’s Curse. Thankfully, The Winner’s Kiss struck a good balance between focusing on romance on the one hand and political machinations on the other.
At the end of The Winner’s Crime, Kestrel is banished to the Valorian work camp in the tundra. So, I assumed that it would take a long time for Arin to realize where she was. Surprisingly, that turned out to not be the case, and Kestrel is rescued within the first quarter of the The Winner's Kiss. As a result, the focus of the novel ends up being on the war between the East and the Valorian Empire, a decision that I was pleased with.
With regards to the characters and romance, I really ended up loving Roshar and the bromance that developed between him and Arin. I also liked that Arin and Kestrel’s relationship finally seemed to mature, with both realizing that they needed to open up and trust the other person if they were going to have any sort of future together.
Where I think The Winner’s Kiss could be improved upon is with an epilogue. The ending was good, but it did leave me with questions about the future of the characters. An epilogue could have somewhat answered those questions!
The Winner’s Kiss was released in March 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Comments About the Cover: Why is the model posed so weirdly in all three covers of this trilogy?!