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The Winner's Kiss - Review

Some kisses come at a price.

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?

Book Breakdown 

Okay let's just jump into it, shall we? I'm left speechless, I swear I'm trying to collect my thoughts but I'm not sure how. I got my notes beside me and I can't even read them. I have terrible handwriting by the way. 

So I want to talk about this series as a whole for a second. The first book was just amazing! The second book wasn't as good to me, it felt like that bridge book completely. This last book though... it blew everything I'd thought away. It was AMAZING! 

Things I never said about the first book was how well these characters balance each other. Kestrel and Arin are perfect together. He's not just some alpha male and that waltzes around with his head in ass. He is kind and I love how he would sometimes take a back seat to let Kestrel take the reins. How they needed each other and relied on each other. Like a real freaking couple! It made me so happy to see this for once!

The writing is so lovely in this series, I love that these characters are flawed, the feel so real. This is what more books should follow. More YA books that is, I don't read much else. Well, some NA on the side but still... yeah. 

This series felt so original, I mean the plot is driven by words and games, not fighting or magic. Kestrel is not some kickass girl, she's smart as hell though! Arin is not some big brute that is only there to look good and give the readers romance for the sake of romance. 

So if you haven't read this series, go! It's so great and you're missing out big time! Now there may be spoilers ahead, haven't read? Don't read past the gif below.
Sadly, my happy dance would look a lot like this... if not worse. I can't dance at all.

The plot wraps up perfectly, the end was just what I wanted. No one we love dies and while I know that may not feel real as in war people die, it's a hard, sad fact. I'm just glad it didn't happen, I like my endings happy and bright. There is enough darkness in my world already, I don't need it added too.

Also I wrote a note and had to keep it in my book because I was so happy to see this part, it's on page 247, where the awesome sauce Roshar says he's gay. It was perfect! It's just how it should be done. It doesn't change his character at all, it's just who he is.

I can't stand when there's a gay character and just everything about them is just gay. Like if you took the fact that they were gay away would just make the character vanish. I'm probably not explaining this correctly and I'm sorry.

It's just... people are more than their sexuality! Yes it's a part of who we are but it is not all we are.

Anyway, I love the ending. I didn't even see it coming. I wasn't ready for that. I knew she would poison the emperor, I just did not think it would through the tiles! I thought she was going to use those to cheat! That was a perfect twist!

I do have one problem with this series and it's her father... I feel so robbed there. Did they patch things up? Does he stay in prison till he dies? I want to know! 
This series is just amazing! It's now one of my favorites! Read it if you haven't! 

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