Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: Edelweiss

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.


As before, my comment on the cover: Still pretty, but I’m sad that it didn’t quite follow the style of the first one. (And I think I like the first dress better…) Now onto the review!

So here it is, the ever-anticipated sequel to The Winner’s Curse and it’s kind of a doozy. The Winner’s Crime has a stronger focus on court intrigue and war tactics than the previous book. But that’s not to say there’s no deception, lies, or betrayals (of the heart), because there is still a lot of it. And damn does this book make you feel all the feeeeeeels (and not the good kind of feeeeeel, the sad, you’re killing me kind of feeeeeel /tears).

The romance in this book more so lurks in the background, but makes a big impact all the same. With a much slower romance, Kestrel and Arin will break your heart. There’s just so much standing in between them, an impending wedding, a possible war, and just so many lies. Kestrel is still a brilliant strategist but at times she really frustrated me with her deceit. Actually, Arin frustrated me too. The misunderstandings and lack of communication between Kestrel and Arin was agitating to say the least. And yet, I still feel for them.

Sometimes you think you want something,” Arin told him, “when in reality you need to let it go.”

With more marvelous world building in this installment and a darker tone, the sequel delves deeper into the political intrigue that Kestrel and Arin have become embroiled in. We’re introduced to new characters (and the eastern kingdom) whom all play a hand in the conspiracies and power struggle and it’s hard to know how any of it will end.

Overall, Rutkoski gives us another beautifully written story that will tug on all your emotions. Though a slower pace than the first, the elegant writing will suck you.

Oh and there’s another mother of all holy pearl cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, another one /sigh. You are a cruel, cruel mistress, Rutkoski.

“I’m going to miss you when I wake up,” she whispered, because she realized that she must have fallen asleep under the sun. Arin was too real for her imagination. He was a dream.

“Don’t wake up,” he said.

{*Thank to Farrar Straus Giroux & Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for the an honest review.

Find Maria Rutkoski:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski”

  1. This ending was CRUEL. You are right. GAH the whole book nearly killed me emotionally. I love that these two do pretty much everything with each other in mind, but they are not not on the same page AT ALL. Oh it was hard! I’m dying for the next one. Great thoughts – oh and I do miss the structure of the other cover. I wish they hadn’t changed it. Boo.

    1. YEEES. It’s so frustrating those two, haha! I know, I loved that the first cover was so different than most covers!
      Thanks, Lauren!

  2. I am actually such a huge black sheep when it comes to the romance in this one. I loved Arin & Kestrel’s dynamics in Curse, but I didn’t like the romance too much in Crime. 🙁 It felt forced and odd to me. But oh god, THAT ENDING. Rutkoski, give us a break. We’re still not over the cliffhanger from Curse. xD

    1. Ahh, I can understand that. I liked it, but it also frustrated me at the same time. Hopefully it gets better for you in book 3!
      All the cliffhangers D: sigh. Oh well. there’s only one more book, so no more cliffhangers after that right? haha.

  3. This series has me intrigued and I’m not going to lie – it’s partly because of the covers. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one. This is definitely a series I want to try but I think I’ll wait until the next book comes out because I don’t deal well with cliffhangers and I’ll have my box of tissues handy!

    1. The cover is so pretty right!
      Yeaaah, it might be best to wait until book 3, haha. The cliffhangers are killer! Hope you enjoy them if you do pick them up!

  4. Yes I found Kestrel and Arin to be kind of frustrating in this one, as much as I still loved them. It was great seeing the world expanded, but I just wanted them to be less angsty! Great review Cyn!

    1. I hope they blow us away in book 3, haha. Yes, less angst please!
      Thanks, Jeann!

  5. Oh my gosh! This sounds like such sweet torture, Lol! I have book one to read. The world sounds fantastic in book two and I’m looking forward to catching up, but it sounds like I better brace myself for some serious feels and cliffhangers…

    Lovely review Cyn!! 🙂

    1. I hope you enjoy them!! Yes, lots of angst and cliffhangers, haha. The world building is great in this series!

      Thanks, Kim!

  6. I stopped reading or should I say listening to book one..I think it was me, and you have me thinking I should try, try again

    1. Ah, that’s too bad. If you end up picking it up again, I hope it goes better for you! It’s a pretty good series 😉

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