The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: Blog Tour

Winners Kiss Blog Tour Banner 1 (3)

I feel pretty lucky that our stop on the official blog tour for The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski falls on Valentine’s Day. That’s because the blog tour is all about celebrating the best kisses fiction has to offer.

I mean … swoon.

Fierce Reads has asked all the participating bloggers (and you, too, in the comments below!) to answer these questions:

  •  What book is your favorite literary kiss in?
  •  Who is kissing?
  •  Why is it your favorite?
  •  Bonus Question: what kiss do you hope will occur in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss?

I mean, talk about a hard question. There are so many amazing kisses in YA literature. When it comes to steamy and passionate, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series comes to mind. And I almost went with that Tessa/Will kiss at the end of Clockwork Princess as my choice for this post.


Why not, you ask? Because the honor went to something that has stayed with me for a much longer time.

Instead, let’s talk about the last kiss Will and Lyra share in The Amber Spyglass, the final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

amber spyglassThese books were hugely influential in my life, and continue to hold a special meaning to me. I was eleven when the first book came out; it was a Christmas gift from my dad. I re-read The Golden Compass countless times in the years I waited for The Subtle Knife. And then I re-read both of those books while I waited for The Amber Spyglass. It was a long wait. I was in sixth grade when I read the first book, and I was a senior in high school when the last book came out. I’ve re-read the entire trilogy a few times since then, and every time it just reminds me how special they are. My husband and I even used a passage from the last book in our wedding ceremony.

The kisses shared between Will and Lyra in The Amber Spyglass are few and are largely innocent; but it’s the power of their connection, the innocence and purity of their love, and the commitment they make to live happy lives, while still remembering one another, is just so powerful to me. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and wonderful.

Here’s the passage from The Amber Spyglass with their last kiss, before they are parted forever in separate universes:

One last kiss, rushed and clumsy so that they banged cheekbones, and a tear from her eye was transferred to his face; their two daemons kissed farewell, and Pantalaimon flowed over the threshold and up into Lyra’s arms; and then Will began to close the window, and then it was done, the way was closed, Lyra was gone.

Agonizing, right??? Oh, I cry every time I re-read this passage. So sad and yet so beautiful, and so powerful.

As for The Winner’s Kiss, I’m hoping for a lot less heartache and lot more passionate necking between Arin and Kestrel. Just lots of steamy make-out scenes would be really awesome.


The Winner’s Kiss
by Marie Rutkoski
On Sale March 29th, 2016

Winner's Kiss_CVR_lowresWar 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?

Read a sneak peek here!

about-the-authorMarie-Rutkoski-credit Tobias EverkeMarie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.

For the comments: What kiss do you hope happens in The Winner’s Kiss? What’s your favorite kissing scene from literature?

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