Book: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date Published: March 3rd, 2015
Date Started: April 2nd, 2015
Date Finished: April 9th, 2015
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.
I really liked The Winner’s Curse. It had this great historical/fantasy feel to it, and the world building was really great. I had high expectations for the Winner’s Crime, but I was also afraid of that dreaded curse of the second book. But the Winner’s Crime delivered. In fact, it surpassed my expectations and turned out to be a great read that I was really sucked into.
I really love Kestrel because she’s so smart. She knows how to play all her cards right in order to make everyone happy. Her only problem this time was that there were too many players and not enough cards. Her downfall is that she wears her heart on her sleeve and she loves her father too much. I thought that living in a society where she was of the upperclass was enough of a tight rope to walk in the first book. But then you add in a plot twist of being engaged to the heir of the empire, and that rope just got way too thin.
I also loved the characters in this one because they aren’t perfect. They don’t always make the right decisions and they can be downright just so oblivious to everything. There was this part in the book where Arin confronts Kestrel, and I wanted to shut him up so bad. I just wanted to shove a sock in his mouth or something. I was literally yelling “you stupid idiot!” But that just goes to show how involved I was with this book.
Also, I was afraid for the love plot. After the Winner’s Curse, it became apparent that there might be this love triangle, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I mean, I’m sure that everyone wants Kestrel to be with Arin, but her alternative isn’t as bad as I thought he would be. If everything ended in a not so happily ever after, then I think Kestrel being married to the prince wouldn’t be a bad thing. He seemed caring and kind unlike his stupid father. The parents in this book make me so mad.
The action in this book was great, along with all the mystery and conspiracy. I’m intrigued to see what will happen, because that ending was intense. Also, throw in the addition of other countries coming into play, I think the last book is going to be explosive and I can’t wait to see what happens with everything.
This was one of my favorite reads of 2015, and I highly recommend this one, guys! Check it out!