The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski Review

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)
Available for purchase at Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Pages: 401, paperback
Received copy: ARC befriended to me, dearly and truly appreciative via Andi’s ABCs

Synopsis via 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’strilogy.



Okay, where to begin? For starters I was lucky enough to literally pick this book up right after I finished Winner’s Curse. Everything flowed and I was on high alert, whereas sometimes you read a book that’s a part of a series and then have trouble remembering what’s been going on. Although to be fair, I don’t feel like picking this up I would’ve forgotten the plot too much—and it comes out in March 2015 so if you’ve picked Curse up now you should be good till then!

Overall this book is the meat of where the story is going. Think of this as a meal, the first book is deciding what you’d like to have for dinner and have gone and bought all the supplies to make the meal; now book two is the actual cooking of the meal…watching things heat up, simmer, boil, all the juices flowing to create this delicious dinner you can’t wait to sink your teeth into. And now this has made me hungry so, maybe I should not go on with the food analogy, haha!


no but seriously…if you haven’t read Winner’s Curse don’t go…





So at the end of Winner’s Curse, we have Kestral using that brilliance and strategy that she’s come into growing up being a general’s daughter and knowledge of the rules of war, the empire and devising up a plan. Kestral decides that in order to save others, becoming the princess and future daughter in law of the emperor is the price she has to pay to do what is right, even if she cannot be with Arin or live as a warrior. In doing so she can spare the land she’s known so dearly and grant them the freedom they deserve (Kestral realizes this while being captured, what’s she’s known as hers was never granted to Valorians to begin with). Now Kestral has to live with her fate and go about planning and protecting her decision. New players are added to the game, a Bite & Sting challenge if you will—which can aid or destroy what the empire has built itself into.

Things I Liked:

the Web Woven…
– Dang, Marie, you have had me all twisted up with this picture painted for Valorians, Herran, and Dacrans! There is so much going on but all completely decipherable to the reader. The audience is just as torn as Kestral is on the decisions to make, who to save or betray, and what’s left of the honor she has. Strings are woven throughout the novel and just as the end is near, the strings have mysteriously turned into a bow, all for the reader to want and shred the bow! LOL!

the Tension…
– Besides the unease of living within the emperor’s space, the tension between Arin and Kestral is palpable! They have a forbidden heat and while not doing much more than stolen encounters hidden, the reader can feel that heat through the pages, my god! Besides their prohibited feelings for each other, they each have a burden to their people to carry on their shoulder which makes for lies and disguise which can make things messy. Kestral does some daydreaming on a patch of grass that is probably one of my favorite scenes….or wait maybe another one in the beginning…UGH! So hard—don’t make me choose!

the Characteristics…
– All of the characters in the novel are pretty true to their word and I love that! Honest characters who bring honest traits, whether they’re good or bad. One’s loyalty and courage is present throughout the plot, as well as revenge and spitefulness of another’s. I like that these characters are unwavering in their passion despite how right or wrong they may be. No matter how incredibly frustrating this can be to read, haha, but I digress 😉

Things I Didn’t Like:

– *crickets chirping*…
Again, I know I write this often but when a good book like this comes along, rarely do I catch flaws. Not saying there aren’t any, that’s up to the reader to decide if they can spot anything. For myself, the only compliant I have is, where is the third book because I need more! LOL!


See ya next time…Linz aka The Kid xx


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