Review + Giveaway: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

14 June, 2016 Reviews 30 comments

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

Review + Giveaway: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia on March 24th 2016
Pages: 484
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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?

This is you reading an average, every day book:


Then there’s you reading The Winner’s Trilogy:


I feel like a broken record every time I say, “Read this series.”

But here I am, saying it again. Please. Read this series.

Because it is absolute perfection, from top to bottom.

But, you might be wondering, how does The Winner’s Kiss compare to The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime?

It is utter perfection. Marie Rutkoski is a master of her prose. She does more than wield it, she owns it. She owns every single line of this perfect novel.

Arin and Kestrel’s relationship is the perfect backdrop for this war-riddled world of politics and violence. There has been so much love and passion put into this series that it drips through every perfect page.

The Winner’s Kiss picks up where The Winner’s Crime left off – with Kestrel on her way to a slave camp and one helluva angry Arin, on the warpath and nursing a cold, broken heart.

And then the magic happens. The way that Rutkoski weaves these characters together into a delicate dance of passion and love and forgiveness is masterful.

Every interaction these two have is loaded with meaning. They’re so intensely attuned to each other that they can feel each other through the silence. This romance is such a slow-burning, piece of perfection that I’m struggling to come up with words for how much I love it.


Is this always an easy series to read? No. Rutkoski makes you work for every page, because there’s always so much tension going on. But I promise you that it’s worth it. That every moment you spend getting through the hard times with Arin and Kestrel will be rewarded. Because this treasure of a book never gives you everything you want easily. Because the reality is that their world is hard, and harsh and full of truth. But there is a sweetness to the sadness. A tinge of beauty amongst the ugliness that is utterly gripping and enthralling.

I could go on forever, because this series, to me is a tangle of excellence that is unravelled piece by piece until its final, stunning conclusion.

But I’d rather you read for yourself to see.

So I’ll say it one more time.

Please read this series.


I’m hosting a giveaway for a paperback copy of The Winner’s Kiss for anywhere that the book depository ships.


  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • You must be 13+ years to enter
  • The giveaway is open to anywhere the Book Depository Ships
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

30 Responses to “Review + Giveaway: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski”

  1. _Sandra_

    Because first two book were absolutely amazing and can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  2. Michelle Willms

    I want to read this series; no I haven’t even started. I MUST have all the books in my little hands, in print, so I can read them. I really, really, really want to read this series. Really.

  3. Shalayna

    I’ve been following all of the reviews on this series and waiting for them all to be released to start the series. CANNOT wait to read them!

  4. Red

    I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning. It has such a unique story that I fell in love with. I own the second book and it looks so lonely without it’s counterparts. 🙁 Seriously thank you for your review. I’m glad you loved it too.

  5. Sarah

    I’ve heard so many great things about this series but I have yet to actually read it – this could be my chance 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Ces

    i’ve read this book a million times but i don’t own a physical copy either 🙁 fingers crossed!

  7. Natasha Donohoo

    I would love to win because I have heard amazing things about this series and I hope to start reading it soon!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Natalie Monroe

    I’ve yet to read The Winner’s Kiss and love to know how it all turns out!

  9. Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!)

    THIS BOOK. Definitely my favorite of the series. I loved The Winner’s Curse, and liked The Winner’s Crime, but this book takes the cake. SO worth the wait, and shenanigans surrounding the cover, and EVERYTHING. I just reread parts of it the other day and *happy sigh* That is how you end a trilogy!

    Fantastic review, Kat! And thank you for the giveaway – I rather like that green dress cover, and I don’t have a printed copy of this book (yet), so I shall enter your giveaway. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted…Blog Tour and Giveaway: My Lady JaneMy Profile

  10. Allie L

    I have Winner’s curse and crime so winning this book will complete my collection. But most importantly, OMGOSH I AM DYING TO READ THIS ENDING. She is now one of my favorite authors. I always recommend this series when people ask for recommendations 😀

  11. Alecia

    I have to win because I have to actually START the series and I can just tell I’ll love it as much as you do!

  12. Carina Olsen

    I GOT THIS EMAIL 😀 Eeee! Finally getting emails from you guys again, I hope, lol. <3 But anyway. Ahh. Your review is so awesome Kat. I'm so happy you loved The Winner's Kiss so much. <3 Eee, I did too 😀 The romance is just the very best. Sigh. And such an amazing plot. And ahh. It was such a good book 😀 Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts about it sweetie. <3

  13. Ashfa

    I read The Winner’s Crime a few weeks back and I NEED to know hat happens!!! Also the writing is absolutely gorgeous!

  14. Debbie

    I want to win because this series sounds absolutely AH-MAZE-ING! Seriously you’ve completely sold me on giving this a go and now I’m just dying to get my hands on it! Fingers crossed and thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Kristy

    When a review is as passionate at that! I have to read the book.. im really excited about this one.. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski is officially on my “to read” list 🙂

    • Kristy

      Oh no! How did i click on half a star! ? I havent read it.. its supposed to be blank.. can i erase that? Sorry ?

  16. Summer

    Everyone who’s read this series seems to love it, the romance in particular sounds like something I’d enjoy, so I want to give it a try.

  17. Zed

    I would love to win because I’ve heard too many awesome things about this series!

  18. vero

    Everybody say this is a great book, iI need to check out if is true, pluss love the covers, so pretty

  19. Jennifer

    I just got the first one but I have heard a lot of good things about this series. Love the gifs, describe what I’ve heard perfectly!

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