I received this book around the release date by Bloomsbury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Although I have wanted to read this trilogy for a while, I had not yet got around to it. So I went to Dymock's and purchased the first two books, The Winner's Curse and The WInner's Crime, and marathoned the trilogy in about a week. Here is what I thought;
"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?" -Goodreads
CHARACTERS; Throughout this entire series, I loved watching each character grow and develop as they experienced new things and met new people.
Kestrel, one of my favourite characters of all time, is such a strong and incredible character. However, the events she goes through during TWK changes her. She becomes almost heartless and soulless, and even Arin doesn't know what to think about her. Without giving too much away, when being rescued from the camp, Kestrel has lost her memory of the major events that have occurred over the last couple of books. She doesn't know who Arin is or what is going on with the war. Kestrel almost has an identity crisis which causes her as a character change and act different. However, after seeing how far Kestrel has come since the first book, she develops a lot, and this is definitely a good thing.
Arin is definitely being added to my top fictional boyfriends (the list is never ending!). As discovered in the first two books, he is supposed to be Kestrel's enemy; he is strong, hard working, and has been through a lot throughout his life. However, he is sweet, charming, and incredibly beautiful. I loved reading about Arin, and I loved Arin and Kestrel's relationship. What started off as master and slave, to friendship, and everything else that happened, I just loved reading about the two of them. Perhaps The Winner's Crime was my least favourite book because they were hardly together :(. I'm going to miss reading about these two beautiful characters.
PLOT/ STORY LINE: I loved the story line to the first book (which is my favourite), was slightly disappointed with the second book, but the third and final book definitely made up for it. The detailed battle scenes, the romance, the friendships, and other characters that were introduced, all made this book an amazing character and plot driven novel. I couldn't put it down! The amazing plot twists, the constant cliff hangers, and the overall story that was told was just amazing and I loved reading about it.
ENDING: Without giving too much away, The Winner's Kiss gave a great ending to a great series. It concluded all the events that were told throughout the three books, nothing was left hanging, and everything was beautiful. I couldn't wait to see how this series panned out, and I'm glad that when I did find out, I couldn't have written it better myself. Rutkoski did a great job and concluding this beautiful series, and I pride her on that.
The Winner's Curse; 4.9 stars
The Winner's Crime; 4.2 stars
The Winner's Kiss; 4.8 stars
Although I didn't find this book perfect, I still loved it and really enjoyed reading about the story of Kestrel, Arin, and their world. It was an amazing ride.
I highly recommend this amazing series to lovers of fantasy, dystopia, contemporary, and YA.
Comment below if you read this book and let me know what you think!
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