Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime
(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
by Marie Rutkoski
March 3, 2015
402 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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.


This book has invisible hooks that held me down from the moment I opened up to page one. I was hooked! And those hooks did not let me go until I’ve turned to the end of the book. The Winner's Crime was so damn good!

Full of bittersweet moments I could not get enough of Marie Rutkoski's writing. Her exquisite words made the story flow beautifully. Every part of The Winner's Crime was addictive. The story does not stop. The actions do not let up. The emotions do not recede.  When I got to the end of the book, I did not want to leave Valoria. I was wholly invested in the world and what fate awaited our heroine. I couldn't stop thinking about this book days after reading it!

From the moment Kestrel agreed to marry the prince, she became a pawn in the emperor’s game. It's one hell of a dangerous game but she played it well. I believed in Kestrel even when she was skeptical herself. Despite her worries and fears, whenever she spoke, she exuded courage and certainty. Her words were compelling. I wanted to give her a hug for how hard she fought to hold onto her sanity. Even with the emperor breathing down her neck she held strong. It was pure anguish watching her withhold the truth from Arin. I'd have been bursting to tell him.

Arin was kind of a tool in this book. He was rude, inconsiderate and even hurtful. I wished he could've been more mature but given the circumstances (seeing the girl you love with someone else), I forgave him. The thing that happens to him was painful to read. Hasn't he been through enough? His side trip was unexpected but a welcome change of scenery from all the threats and deceits at the Valorian court. I only hope his new friends will stand by his side when the time comes.

Kestrel's friendship with Jess and Ronan paled in the grand scheme of things. I did not care for them. I felt like they were so narrow-minded and too filled with preconceived hatred. They couldn't get pass their own judging nature to stand by Kestrel's side when she most needed them. I say good riddance for them to be out of her life.

Towards the last few pages of the book I may have been screaming NO non-stop. I was pacing like an anxious animal. That ending was devastating. Pure torture. I don’t understand how Kestrel’s father could give her in to the emperor. She stood by him all this time yet he felt like he couldn't trust his own daughter? In many ways, it’s worse than losing Arin. My heart shattered for the poor girl. I feel like this is something you don’t recover from easily so it will be most interesting to see how Kestrel will overcome this betrayal.

This is a series full of feelings. Ones that will dig deep and hold every part of you in tension. It will especially grip hard at your heart. I welcomed all of those emotions though because The Winner's Crime is that good! The waiting for the last book is unbearable but I'm glad I read this one. Like everyone else who's waiting, I'll be devouring The Winner's Kiss as soon as I get my hands on a copy!

5 Cats


  1. I LOVE this series too, but I think I may need a refresher before the last book comes out this month!

    1. Yes!! So you can soak in all the details!

  2. YES! I love this series. I'm listening to the audiobook of this one right now to prepare for The Winner's Kiss. Things are super challenging for both MCs here and I forgot how much. I cannot wait for The Winner's Kiss, I feel like it's going to wreck me. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. Yep, The Winner's Kiss is going to be epic! Happy wrecking to us LOL

  3. AHHH. So glad you loved this book! I adore this series and that ending to the Winner's Crime most certainly wrecked me. I was like you, screaming NO at those pages. LOL. I'm like halfway through the Winner's Kiss right now and it's just as gorgeous as the previous two. :D

    1. YAY! I have an eARC too but thinking I will hold off until I get the finished copy :D


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