The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's CrimeTitle: The Winner’s Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Triology
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Published: March 12th, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)The summary of The Winner’s Crime from Goodreads:

Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.

I loved The Winner’s Curse. Loved it. That being said, I waited until the rest of the trilogy was released to finish reading. I wanted to be able to finish it without breaks, but I also didn’t really want the series to end. While on vacation, I decided it was about time to have my heart ripped out. I had to try and keep my emotions in check, since a crying girl sitting by the pool might worry some people, but it was really difficult to do so.

The Good:


…I should probably elaborate on that…

One of the things I loved about The Winner’s Curse is that I felt entirely immersed in the world Rutkoski had created. Everything made sense. I could see the history of the lands, could feel the power struggles that had shaped it. I could envision the entire world, even down to the nameless, faceless people who roamed the streets.

The Winner’s Crime is no different. We just get to see new parts of the world. The intrigue and games of the court, the tension and power of a new country…it’s all there. Rutkoski makes each new aspect unique, and yet it still fits into the whole perfectly.

Kestrel is doing what she thinks is right for Arin and his country. She used the only power she had left, herself, to barter for the Emperor to not destroy the Herrani forces. She doesn’t want Arin to know what she sacrificed, even though she still feels a strong pull toward him. She wants him to govern and for his people to finally be free. If she must sacrifice herself and her happiness to make sure that happens, that’s a strategy she is willing to take.

Arin knows nothing about what she’s done. He keeps trying to get close to Kestrel, even though she tries to keep him at a distance. They each make moves in the game without understanding how the other is playing.

Usually, I get really annoyed when character’s problems could easily be solved by just communicating. I often find myself shouting “Use your words!!” when characters won’t talk. I didn’t feel that way with this book because their lack of communication was brought on by outside forces as well. It’s not just that they don’t want to talk or don’t trust each other enough. There is real danger if they talk. They can only hope that the other understands them enough to make the right moves in the game.

As I read, I felt little shards of my heart peel off. There wasn’t one heart shattering moment where it felt as though I had been blown to pieces. Instead, each page chipped a little pice off until my heart was sitting at me feet in tiny little pieces that I had no idea how to fit together again.

It was amazing.

The Bad:

Nothing. Don’t even have to elaborate on that one.

The Recommendation:

If you love a good fantasy novel, this is certainly a series to read. I really can’t think of words to describe how amazing this book, and the series thus far, is.

Just read it.

Purchasing Links:

Barnes and Noble

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