Because I Don’t Want It to End: THE WINNER’S TRILOGY by Marie Rutkoski

I’ll just start by noting that this post won’t have any spoilers for any of the books in this series. This isn’t a series review or discussion. It’s just my way of setting my feelings straight before I read The Winner’s Kiss, and sharing with you all just how much I adore these books. I’m basically passive aggressively book-pushing these on you. Therefore if you were a LUCKY LUCKY duck and got to read the last book early, don’t comment spoilers or hint at events or anything pleeeeeaaaaseeeee.

The Winner's Trilogy Banner

A week from today (less than a week now — I CAN MAKE IT!), one of my favorite series will come to the end. I would almost feel perfectly okay with saying that this is my one and only favorite series, but I’m a serial reader, so I can’t. But I can say that Marie Rutkoski has taken me on a ride in just two, incredibly detailed, heartbreaking, smart, and intense books. I’m both madly looking forward to and dreading reading the final book. In preparation and anticipation for doing just that, I thought I would write this post. I guess it’ll be a little journey of sorts: The Winner’s Trilogy and I.

Waaaay back in March of 2014, I purchased a book called The Winner’s Curse. I was new on the blogging scene, but I could tell that this was a book that everyone was freaking out about. So I bought it. And read it. And cried a lot. Almost immediately after I finished reading the book, I attended an event to see Marie Rutkoski. I was a fangirling mess on the inside, which translated to me being unable to form coherent sentences, ask questions, or sometimes even get words out. But I knew, especially after meeting Marie and listening to her speak about the book, that this was a series that was going to hit me hard.

I successfully pushed this book into the hands on two of my good friends, who are now equally as obsessed with this series as I am. This was a very proud achievement for me — I’m now a successful book-pusher! The three of us discussed the book a lot, which helped the time pass until book two.

Flash forward a year to March 2015. I purchased and read The Winner’s Crime and cried even more. It left me in quite a state. I feel like a bad fan to admit it, but now in March of 2016, I barely remember what happened. But I’ve decided it’s because the events of the book were just too traumatic that my brain stored the knowledge away for safekeeping.

And now we’re back to present day. I’m reading recaps of the first two books (because I don’t like rereading for some reason), and mentally preparing myself to be emotionally destroyed after reading The Winner’s Kiss. All I can say is: NEITHER KESTREL NOR ARIN CAN DIE. THEY MUST LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOREVER AND EVER.

BRB, taking a trip to the big box store to buy tissue in bulk.


If you want, you can read my reviews of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime while we wait to put ourselves through more pain. They’re both non-spoiler reviews. And look out for a review and spoiler discussion in the somewhat near future when I’m over my book hangover. See, I’m already anticipating one…

xo

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Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy, #2 | The Winner’s Curse
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

my rambles

I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a coherent review for this beautiful, heartbreaking, book, because even after reading this book a few days ago from when I’m writing this review, I still feel like this:

*Yes this book requires gifs in my review. I cannot convey my feelings properly.*

 If you have been following me (whether it be on this blog or on Twitter), you will have probably seen me mention my obsession and love for this series at least once. I most likely made it well known how much I’ve needed this book for months, and I will 100% live up to the fact that I went to MAJOR blogger jealousy when it came to The Winner’s Crime ARCs. My review for the first book somehow didn’t showcase my emotions properly. I actually seemed composed, which was the exact opposite of how I felt after reading not only book two, but book one as well!

The Winner’s Crime surpassed my greatest expectations. Marie Rutkoski has crafted a world, characters, relationships, and story that will keep you entranced.

Everything about the world is so clever and sharp, from the game of Bite and Sting to the political intrigue. In this book we get to explore the world a bit more, travel to other lands, and the world building deepens.

There is also the addition of new characters, along with my beloved Kestrel and Arin. The development of the characters is also amazing. You get to see a new side of Kestrel and Arin, as well as people like Jess, Ronan, and Kestrel’s father.

And THE RELATIONSHIPS. Oh. My. Gosh. I think Marie Rutkoski is trying to break our hearts one thousand times over! The angst! I couldn’t handle it. Kestrel and Arin are my current OTP, and they are well deserved because their storyline in The Winner’s Crime is heightened to a whole new level. I seriously couldn’t contain my emotions or stop reading thanks to the happenings in the book, particularly involving the pair.

Just when you thought things were going to take a turn for the better, Marie Rutkoski throws us a cruel, evil, awful, sad, curveball that brings on the feels once more. And that ending will leave you with your mouth hanging open and then soon you find that you’re crying…

All in all, The Winner’s Crime was everything I hoped it would be. The wait was well worth it, and if you enjoyed The Winner’s Curse, then this book is a must read that will make you fall in love with the story all over again!

xo

Waiting on…The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!


Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

why i can't wait

If you haven’t read my review of book #1, The Winner’s Curse, you can read it here!

Basically the first book was such an emotional rollercoaster for me as a reader. I was so drawn into the world, the characters, the romance, EVERYTHING. Marie Rutkoski is a fantasy genius. The cover for The Winner’s Crime was just released recently and isn’t just the most beautiful thing? I do prefer the cover to The Winner’s Curse over this one, but are both absolutely beautiful, you have to admit! And the covers definitely reflect the story and writing between the covers — beautiful. I am so ready for this book…


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

xo

Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Pages: 355

Format: Hardcover

Source: Gifted

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy, #1

Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

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.

The Winner’s Curse is a book that takes some time to get completely enveloped in the story. But once you are, you’ll be unable to put it down. Beautifully written, Marie Rutkoski creates a world of characters and a romance that are captivating.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book. The idea of a forbidden romance may seem to be overused in books these days, but with The Winner’s Curse everything worked perfectly. The romance was wholly developed taking the readers on the emotional journey along with the characters. No insta-love in sight, simply complicated emotions toward society which leads to a hasty decision that changes both characters’ circumstances.

Not only is there a heart-wrenching and conflicting romance, but there are highly intelligent and strategic characters which make the societal game that much more interesting. The game of Bite and Sting, military tactics, and social status with the combination of Rutkoski’s gorgeous writing allow the book to be smart while remaining rich and beautiful.

All in all I couldn’t find one fault with The Winner’s Curse. A book filled with romance, strategy and a main character that’s blisteringly smart, The Winner’s Curse is a must-read for fans of fantasy.

WWW Wednesday (#2)

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading in which we share 3 things: what we’re currently reading, what we’ve recently finished reading, and what we are thinking about reading next!

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – I’m loving this one so far! Here’s what I had to say about it on my Goodreads status update: “Marie Rutkoski’s writing style for this book is gorgeous. I’m in love!”

What I’ve Recently Finished Reading:

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols, which I’ve just reviewed here!

What I’m Thinking About Reading Next:

I’m not thinking about this one at all. We Were Liars came out on Tuesday and I know I’ll be reading it as soon as I finish AP’s tomorrow!!

SO, WHAT ARE YOUR WWW’S THIS WEEK? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

xo,

Emily