Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski is such a fantastic instalment to The Winner’s Trilogy! I was definitely not as prepared for this epic conclusion to the series as I thought. This book is filled with action and suspense and contains one of my favourite main characters in YA. If that wasn’t enough to sway you, the writing in this book is so gorgeous and will make you fall in love with The Winner’s Kiss right away.

Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie RutkoskiTitle: The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3)
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Rating: four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He's finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can't quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people-and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that's what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss is so action-packed! Of course, I would expect nothing less of Marie Rutkosi, but this was a whole new type of mind-blowing action. The plot is just so fast-paced and intense. This is definitely the kind of book that can be read in one day.

❀ Kestrel is a perfect Main Character

Kestrel remains the perfect main character in The Winner’s Kiss. The whole beginning of the book is just brutal for her, yet she remains strong and logical. What I especially admire about Kestrel is the fact that she is so focused and determined to get what she wants. She is exactly the type of character that I love to see in books.

❀ Lyrical Writing

The writing in The Winner’s Kiss is just so lyrical. Marie Rutkoski has such a way with words and captivates the reader. Even the dark and frightening scenes in the book sound so poetic. Though all the books in the Winner’s trilogy are so beautifully written, this book takes beautiful to a whole new level. The fact that the book is written so well makes it even more admirable.

❀ Action-Packed

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski is an intense and action-packed fantasy novel with a model main character. The book is written so well that you can’t help but admire it. If you haven’t read the first book in the trilogy, The Winner’s Curse, I definitely recommend that you do so as soon as possible!

Book Quotes: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

“Water ran over her tongue, cool and delicious. She forgot the pain, forgot where she was, forgot who she’d been, forgot that she had ever been afraid of forgetting.”

The Winner’s Kiss Blog Tour

I am super excited to be participating in The Winner’s Kiss Blog Tour organized by Raincoast Books and Fierce Reads! Throughout this tour we are celebrating Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss and all the best kisses in our favourite book.

1. What book is your favourite literary kiss in?

Book cover for If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The kissing scene in Gayle Forman’s If I Stay is my favourite literary kiss.

I felt the heat flood my neck and I could sense myself blushing. I stared at my shoes. I knew that Adam was looking at me now with as much certainty as I knew that if I looked up he was going to kiss me. And it took me by surprise how much I wanted to be kissed by him, to realize that I’d thought about it so often that I had memorized the exact shape of his lips, that I’d imagined running my fingers down the cleft of his chin. My eyes flickered upward. Adam was there waiting for me. That was how it started.

2. Who is kissing?

Adam and Mia, the main characters in the book, are kissing in this scene.

3. Why is it your favourite?

This is such a romantic scene that is full of tension. It definitely describes a first kiss and all of its emotions perfectly.

4. What kiss do you hope will occur in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss?

I am hoping that there will be a kissing scene between Kestrel and Arin. We will have to wait and see, I guess! 🙂


The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski blog tour, hosted by  Fierce Reads, has been very generous and is offering each blogger on the tour to pick one of their friends to send a free copy of The Winner’s Curse to introduce them to this wonderful series! My friend Carine at Ceres Books World has been very excited about this series and is hoping to read it soon, so I am thrilled to send her a kiss and give a copy of The Winner’s Curse to her! <3

About Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globeand The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner's Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

15 thoughts on “Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

  1. ReadiculousGirl says:

    I am so glad that you like “The Winner’s Kiss”! I read it over Easter weekend, so I am still recovering from having to see this beloved trilogy come to an end! *sighs* Now I am going to have to reread the entire trilogy… 😉

  2. writofwit says:

    This makes me even more excited to get my hands on this!!! The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime were absolutely amazing and I’m hoping the conclusion will be just as great.

  3. Rebecca (@readingwishes) says:

    Glad the final instalment was a great one and action-packed! I haven’t read these books, but I am intrigued by them and everyone seems to love them. I always put off series until all the books are out, so maybe it’s time I finally gave these a try! Great review.

  4. Jaime Lynn says:

    Now that we are a day away from the release of this book I can FINALLY READ THE SERIES! I have been waiting and waiting! I am so glad that the final book is getting such awesome reviews! I CANNOT WAIT!!

  5. Bashayer A says:

    I’m really excited reading this book! Beautiful review. I’ve been in love with the light trilogy (Shattered Blue) and here is another trilogy! xx

  6. isisthe12th says:

    The winner’s trilogy sounds exciting! I enjoyed reading your review of the winners kiss. Thank you

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