Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by and Giroux on March 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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Following your heart can be a crime
A royal wedding means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. 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: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin's freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself?
Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. she's working as a spy in the court. If caught, she'll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can't help searching for a way to change her ruthless world...and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.
This dazzling follow-up to The Winner's Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.
The Winner’s Crime is pretty much all about the consequences of what Kestrel did in the first book coming to fruition for her and Arin. Which is painful at best. Excruciating at worst.
I won’t lie, there’s a sizable portion of this book in the middle where really not much happens. Kestrel is sort of wandering around feeling bad about herself and her life choices, and Arin wanders around being mad at Kestrel. Their romance (or lack thereof) is frustrating to the nth degree, which makes me all the more eager for the third book. There has been so much misunderstanding and hurt and secret sacrifice between these two, that I can’t wait until it all comes to light. I certainly hope it is satisfying, as Rutkoski has really put these two through the ringer, poor things. Even so, you see a lot of subtle things happening even though the action is low.
You get to see a lot more of Kestrel’s father, and the insanity of the Emperor; I was really ready for Kestrel to just knife him in a corridor or something. We get a fun and mildly disturbing relationship between Arin and Roshar, a prince from the East that Arin is visiting for help against the Empire.
THE ENDING. It made me angry but I also got excited because it set up the third book to be gritty and rough and also amazing and I can’t wait. Plus, the third book is called The Winner’s Kiss. Meaning, there should be kissing. If there’s not, Marie Rutkoski, you will be receiving a very strongly worded letter from me.
All in all, the Winner’s Crime raised the stakes originally set in its predecessor, thrust Arin and Kestrel deeper into treason, and ruined a lot of people’s lives and relationships. I eagerly await seeing how it all plays out in the next book.
Content: Disturbing images. Violence. Recommended for 16+