Top 10 Tuesday: My 10 Favorite Quotes from The Winner’s Trilogy

A weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I wanted to do my own little twist on today’s Top 10 Tuesday post, which is a general “favorite quotes” post.

Y’all know how much I love The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I reread the series at least once a year, and every time I find something new about the books to enjoy. With the release of Rutkoski’s next book, Fall Like Thieves, next year (January 2020) which is set in the same universe as The Winner’s Trilogy, I thought it would be so fun to do this. 🙂

If you haven’t read the series, this post will most likely contain spoilers, so please read at your own risk.

the winner's trilogy

From The Winner’s Curse:

“ ‘You think you see the truth,’ he said to Kestrel in Herrani, ‘because people let you believe it.’

This is Arin, one of the main characters, speaking to Kestrel, the other main character. Kestrel purchased Arin from a slave market, and we later come to find out Arin was placed for purchase for a reason. I found all of their conversations pretty interesting. Being the daughter of her country’s most decorated General shrouds Kestrel in a certain type of privilege, and Arin isn’t afraid to make jabs at her for it.

“…[I]t seemed she wanted his approval as much as she had as a girl.”

Kestrel is thinking about her father here. Throughout the book, the two have a strained relationship, which you see as the series progresses. The General tries to shape his daughter into a certain mold, and she’s not fitting into it and isn’t sure she wants to.

” ‘My soul is yours,’ he said. ‘You know that it is.’ “

Arin says this to Kestrel toward the end of the book. I wish I could remember the context exactly as it’s a bit of a popular quote. Arin, especially in the later books, worries about his soul a lot and his relation to the god of death. I think it says something of him to admit that his soul, not his heart, belongs to Kestrel.

From The Winner’s Crime:

“Where is my honor in all this? he’d asked her once. She didn’t know what honor was to him. She thought that it wasn’t the same as her father’s: monumental, marble-cut. No, Arin’s honor was alive. She sensed the way it moved. She couldn’t see its face—maybe it had many faces—but she believed that Arin’s honor was the kind that would hold its breath and bite its lip until it bled.”

Growing up around her father, he always wanted her to be someone she couldn’t even though she tried. The General’s honor is cold and large, Arin’s alive, determined, and maybe even a bit stubborn. Kestrel, too, is like Arin’s.

“The general’s hatred of Kestrel’s music had always been clear. It embarrassed him: her love for an instrument that one bought slaves to play. Sometimes, though, Kestrel thought that it wasn’t just that. The piano was his rival. He had wanted her to enlist in the military. She wouldn’t. He wanted her to stop playing. She wouldn’t. The piano became her way of refusing him … or at least this was how she had thought he saw it. Only now did it occur to her that he hated to hear her play because it hurt.”

Man, this is such a great quote demonstrating Kestrel and her father’s relationship, and I think Kestrel’s first true realization that she can never be what he wants her to be.

” ‘Sometimes you think you want something,’ Arin told him, ‘when what you need is to let it go.’ “

If I remember correctly, I believe Arin is talking with Roshar in this quote. In this moment, Arin realizes he truly has to let go to Kestrel if he’s to embrace the rebellion as a whole. (Do you hear me weeping? Because it’s happening.)

From The Winner’s Kiss: (AKA the book that made me CRY ALL THE TEARS)

” ‘What am I now?’

Sarsine held both of Kestrel’s hands. ‘Whatever you want to be.’ “

This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes from the entire series. Kestrel, who tried to be what her father wanted her to be, whom the Valorian Emperor aggressively forced her to be, finally has a chance to be who she wants to be has to ask someone else what she is. Her relationship with Sarsine has been prickly from the beginning, and I think this shows the beginning bonds of the friendship for them both.

“He murmured that he loved her more than he could say. He promised that he would always choose her first.”

Say hello to the quote that broke me entirely while reading this book!

This is a little less than halfway through the book. Kestrel finally broke down emotionally, coming to terms about her father and what he wants for her. Kestrel has never been the first for her father, it’s always been the Emperor and Valoria. I loved it so much that Arin was there to comfort her through such a painful time, and this is a turning point in their re-blossoming friendship and romance.

” ‘You could offer her a seat,’ Arin said.

‘Ah, but I have only two chairs in my tent, little Herrani, and we are three. I suppose she could always sit on your lap.’

I am LIVING for this quote! If I remember correctly, Kestrel has entered Roshar’s tent to talk war strategy and Roshar being the first true Arin and Kestrel shipper, is having an absolutely field day. This quote always makes me smile, too. I can just imagine Roshar giving an Arin and internal eye waggle, LOL.

” ‘ You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.’ “

Another one of my favorite quotes. This is from the last half of the book, and I believe it’s Risha speaking to Kestrel when they go to meet the Emperor in a country estate. And it’s one of the reasons why I love this series so much. This is one of the few series (and character) who isn’t very good with any weapon. We see that throughout the series. Kestrel openly admits she’s bad. She loves strategy and she’s good at it–something even her father has told her. I think this is definitely the push Kestrel needs to go through and be brave in the coming events.

I hope I didn’t bore you! It was really hard to pick only ten quotes. Marie’s writing is exceptional and sensual, and I could really provide a laundry list of excellent quotes from this series.

What are some of your favorite quotes? If you participated in today’s Top 10 Tuesday, leave your link below and I’ll check it out! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: My 10 Favorite Quotes from The Winner’s Trilogy

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