Overview (No Spoilers):
The Winner’s Kiss is the third and final installment of The Winner’s Trilogy, which I’ve promptly flown through. The series as a whole was staged in an artfully depicted and detailed world, that proceeded to grow with each subsequent book. Due to the ultimate cliffhanger that the preceding book had left the reader with, I dove right into this third book with high hopes and for 99.9% of the book was not disappointed. The well-developed characters continued their complex relationships and often influenced by their stubborn personalities, with often entertaining or eye-rolling events. However, at the end of the book there was so much left unresolved which seemed out of character for the series that had been exquisitely detailed up until this point. Overall, A Winner’s Kiss’ end seemed so abrupt I wanted to turn to page to see if Rutkoski has added an unseen Epilogue. I was disappointed that a series I’d thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in was left so open ended.
Additional Insight (May Contain Spoilers):
Questions I am left with:
- What will Kestrel do with her father and will they ever heal? She apparently wants them to heal or at least converse, however he remains jailed and stubbornly silent. This was a crucial piece of closure needed that was left open ended.
- While the Herrani’s future seemed set, what will happen with the Valorian’s now that their Emperor is dead and General captured? I doubt they will just give up. Kestrel and Arin seem to ignore this threat at the end of the book, completely disregarding the fact that someone worse might take over or someone without the general’s scruples regarding death. Rather out of character for both of these broad thinking characters. Also, I doubt the Eastern Queen will give up very easily either after being outwitted by her brother regarding Herrani?
- What happened to Jess? And what a sad, out of the limelight end for Ronan.
- While I liked the ending for Prince Verex and Risha, I can’t believe that they didn’t go back to the Valorian Court. They could have done so much for the country to heal it and stop it from warring. Ugh. Loose end!