Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Winner's Kiss

My SO commented the other day that I've been reading slower lately. It'll regularly take me a week to read a book when I used to devour books in about two days regardless of how much I liked them. I gave some flip answer, but later it got me thinking. I am reading slower lately. Why is that? Sure, I have a job that pretty much exhausts me because it involves talking. But I used to do that for longer hours every summer, which was when I started my summer reading project. So why I am I reading slower? I really don't have an answer here. Maybe it's a slump. Maybe I'm becoming pickier about what I read so when a book doesn't wow me it goes slower. I don't know. Something to ponder on.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Kestrel gambled everything she had and lost. Now she's a slave in a sulfur mine in the north and Arin believes she hates him. Her father disowned her, the emperor discovered her involvement in the Herrani rebellion. The only peace she gets now is from the drugs that her masters use to keep her useful and docile. Meanwhile, in Herran, Arin is preparing for war. He has his alliance with the east, and he's stymied the Valorian attempts to poison his people. He throws himself mercilessly into his cause, not thinking about how Kestrel sneered at him, or how his spymaster Tensen revelation of who his Moth was didn't really make sense. War is coming to Herran, and so is the largest gamble yet.

This series has really matured over time. I quite enjoyed The Winner's Curse. Although the beginning 100 pages were slow, the last half of the book was packed with happenings and some really interesting role reversal. Then The Winner's Crime upped the ante, giving me court intrigue and a heartbreaking dog, and a last few chapters that split my heart open. This series evolved from a tame romance story with a side of rebellion into a tale of two broken people trying to build themselves back together, save an oppressed people, and maybe find a way to forgive each other and themselves for what they've done. I was, quite simply, floored by how sad this book made me. Not in a weepy way, but in a resigned way. Kestrel gives herself over to a drug addiction to forget what she did to Arin and how her father gave her over to the emperor, exposing her as a traitor. When Arin discovers Kestrel is the Moth, he breaks, and when he finds out she doesn't remember him in her drugged-out state he breaks even more. Their journey back to each other emotionally is a good one, one that is beautifully written and sad and...yeah, I'm out of words. There's military stuff as well that switches POV quickly to great effect, and the minor characters get a good amount of screen time. I'm really impressed by how this series matured. You should read it!

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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