Friday, March 18, 2016

The Truth Shall Set You Free

"You don't need to be gifted with a blade.
You are your own best weapon."
--Marie Rutkoski, The Winner's Kiss
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar Strous & Giroux
Pages: 352
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016
Source: eARC provided by publisher
Previous Books in Series: The Winner's Curse & The Winner's Crime
Find on: Goodreads | Amazon
Goodreads Description  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 don't even know where to being with writing this review. I fell in love with this series years ago when the beautiful ARC gloriously showed up in my mailbox. And it's been a beautiful love affair ever since. I have fallen in literary love with these characters, their struggle, their world, everything. There much beauty in these books that juxtapose with the harshness of the world and their situations. I re-read the first two books to prepare myself and I am so glad I did. I was thoroughly enveloped in the world and my heart because their heart, this is how strongly I feel about this series. But I digress in the world of my emotions. Let's move on...

The Winner's Crime left us in the ultimate lurch. Kestrel was sent north. Arin left in a huff. And we the readers were crawling on the floor trying to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts. The struggle was ACTUALLY real. The Winner's Kiss pick up almost directly where Crime left off. The plot of this story hits the ground running. We catch up with Arin, we see what's going on with Kestrel and the action starts there. Kestrel is obviously not happy where she is and Arin is losing himself in his war due to his poor, broken heart. I won't talk too much about the plot...okay I won't talk about it at all because you must experience it yourself. I WILL say that I adored how the plot played out and was paced. We got a certain kind of plot point introduced earlier than I thought which I was really happy about and then how everything else plays out is amazing.

What I appreciated most about the plot was how realistic it felt. The war is real. There are victories and defeats and I loved this. There wasn't some magic solution to the war, it was fought hard and bloody and REAL. I can't say it enough. I really dislike when final books wrap up too easily and quickly for the sake of resolution but this book (thankfully) stands on its own. It isn't rushed. It isn't easy. But it is so, so worth it.

Kestrel was...brilliant. Nothing less than. Her character is one of my absolute favorites in literature for her quiet strength, loyalty to those she loves, and her complete selflessness of doing what is right, not what is easy or in her personal best interest. She is a leader in her own right and to quote one character in the book, she is her "own best weapon." Her intelligence is uncanny and I loved seeing her hone her skills of military prowess. She is not a physical character and that's okay. We all have our own personal strength and weaknesses and it is how we accept those triumphs and shortcomings that make us who we are. I could talk for hours about how much I love her and admire her but we'll be here all day.

The relationship between Arin and something I will not talk about. Sorry, guys. Read the book. You have to experience the same kind of sweet agony I did while reading.

Overall, this book is everything I wanted from the final book of this series and lots of thing unexpected in a good way! I really had zero inclination as to where the plot would go and how everything would turn out but I am so pleased with the conclusion of this story. If you are a fan of this series, I truly believe you will not be disappointed. And if you haven't read this yet, you need to get your life right and grab the Winner's Curse IMMEDIATELY!!!

If you love amazing storytelling, fierce heroines, and an epic romance...this book (and series) is for you.


  1. Ahhhh I can't wait to read this book!! I need to know what goes down between Arin and Kestrel. I feel like I've been waiting forever.

  2. I cannot wait to read this one when it's out next weeeeeeeek! So excited to know what happens to Kestrel, Arin and everything else :D


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