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…


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!