All of the emotions! // The Winner’s Kiss Review

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Book 3 in the Winner’s Trilogy)

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Publication Date: March 29th, 2016

Page Number: 496

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary)

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Thoughts:

Honestly, I already knew this book was going to break my heart since the cliffhanger from the last one.

This book opened up right where we left off and the emotions and the feels were real.

I loved how the end was, kind of bittersweet, but enough closure. I could actually go for a little sequel novella ya know?

I also really loved Kestrel’s friendship and trust with Arin’s cousin, and the fact that Kestrel said the same thing to her when she met her again made me smile.

Spoiler Section:

Honestly, I didn’t expect the Kestrel rescue part to be so easy. Arin literally just took a chapter to break in and get her out. But I don’t think it was such a bad thing because we got other stuff to be angsty about.

Like Kestrel’s flipping memory! The moment Arin rescued her and she couldn’t remember him I was like done.

I remember reading this during biology because we had a sub that day, and I was dying of feels and of course I need to rant so I tried ranting to my friends at my lab table but they were kind of annoyed at me haha, so I just texted my bf using a lot of exclamation points.

I think I did actually cry, maybe not fully tears, but there were definitely tears in my eyes. I was just an emotional wreck.

Oh! Also, at the end when Arin was let out of the deal because of the pet tiger Arin, that was great!


For sure my favorite book of this year so far. Marie Rutkoski just continued to amaze me!

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars!

Have you read this book!? What are your thoughts!? Did you enjoy this book as much as I did!?

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

The Winner’s Curse Book Review/Discussion

Check! Another book checked off of my Fall TBR that i promised myself. Wooh!

There’s a story to this one too, check out my P.S. at the bottom to see it *

…I just downloaded A Winner’s Crime onto my phone, so that’s what i’ll be reading next! Then hopefully Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, because have you heard that there is going to be a movie? (I think)

(Edit: I finished A Winner’s Crime and i LOVED IT! Also, i’m going to be reading Winter next cause duh)

Title: A Winner’s Curse

First in a trilogy

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publication Date: March 4th, 2014

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Pages: 355

Synopsis: (Off Goodreads)

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart

I swear, i feel like sometimes Goodreads makes these boring synopsis’s to dissuade people from reading the book! Sheesh, let me break it down.

Basically Kestrel is this high class Valorian lady who stumbles into the slave market with her best friend Jess and Kestrel ends up leaving with a Herrani slave named ‘Smith’ who later tells her his name is Arin, and they have a connection but maybe Arin isn’t being exactly truthful.

My Thoughts:

So i had mixed thoughts on this book. The feels really hit me and stuff, but it made me so anxious and stressed out. Especially that ending! Ugh! Cliffhangers!

I loved how the book started, that first chapter was such a great way to start and hooked me right in. I’ve said this before, but i don’t like when books start off really complicated because then i get confused and want to stop reading.

That being said, i really thought that the book hooked you in right from the beginning and i had an easy time reading it.

When reading the Winner’s Trilogy, i have to keep reminding myself to not trust anyone or anything that i hear or see because anything can deceive you.

Moving on to the love dovey stuff. I can’t deal with this romance thing. Like Arin and Kestrel are made to be together but they never can! It’s sooo frustrating.

I really can’t wait to see what happens in the next book because that ending has a lot to work with.

What’s going to happen with Arin and Kestrel’s relationship? I need to know!


I need to read the second book now! A masterfully crafted book that keeps you on your toes and makes you want to know what happens next! Immediately! I NEED to get my hands on the Winner’s Crime!

My Rating: 

I can’t quite decide, but 4 stars it is. 😉

Side note, i recently just read On the Fence by Kasie West. Um what!? Is it a novella or a novel?! It was like 100 pages long, i finished it in several hours! There won’t be a review though because i have nothing to say about it. I just can’t seem to get into Kasie West! 😦

Anyways, please share your thoughts below! Do you love this book? Hate it? Need to talk about a scene that i did not? Do you have a review on it already that i can read and gush about?

Thanks for reading!


*P.S. I was halfway through this book, up to the part when Kestrel orders Arin to be locked up by the guards so she could go duel, when the book expired on me! I checked it out online overdrive a while ago, and just got around to reading it and forgot to renew it, so then i had to request it all over again and the wait was sooo annoying!