The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski



The Winner’s Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released: March 3, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover edition
Pages: 402
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy
In Series: 2
Completed: November 5, 2015

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.

Let me first start off by saying this book nearly tore at my soul. It was filled with so much angst and intense desire that it was practically bleeding off the page and I could. Not. Deal. I loved this way more than I did the first one and I loved the first one so dang much.

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

This book picks up more or less right where The Winner’s Curse left off and it offers so much more insight into the world and its politics. When I heard that this book dealt a lot with politics I was a little doubtful if I would even like it or not because that kind of talk can usually fly right over my head. However, the way that Marie weaves the politics into her story is truly captivating. Kestrel and Arin were both taking some major risks and though I was rooting them on, I couldn’t help but be so, so, so afraid for them! This book really held my attention and I can’t even remember if there are ever a dull part. It was just that good!

Now if you loved Kestrel and her adventurous side in The Winner’s Curse, you’re really going to love her in Crime. This girl is practically dripping with intrigue. She fights against her own people to try to right the wrongs that her people have forced upon others. She takes some huge risks in this book while under the nose of the awful emperor and betrothed to Prince Verex. It’s amazing how much she is growing within these novels.

“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

Arin, on the other hand, oh gods. Be still my heart. I can’t get enough Kestrel and Arin scenes because they were so angsty and filled with desire! They are both trying to protect the other and love even though it’s pretty much impossible for them to have their happy ending. However, seeing Arin struggle with his emotions for Kestrel were so heartbreaking. He wants to do right by his Herrani people and can’t come to terms with what Kestrel has done or who she has become. He doesn’t understand why she would agree to marry the prince and seeing him have to deal with all his revelations is just… 😦

And they both pretty much see the other constantly? Can this not get anymore tragic? Can we just have them happy, please? I don’t know if my heart can take it.

“So you give me nothing.”
“When have I ever given you anything?”
Softly, Arin said, “You gave me much, once.”

And while we are at it…can the emperor get a slow, painful death? Thanks, Marie ❤

The Winner’s Crime really exceeded my expectations and has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy series. The plot is mesmerizing, the writing is fantastic, the characters are to die for, and the world just makes you want to see more. I loved the addition of characters we got in this book — namely Prince Verex because he’s perfect and a great friend for Kestrel and Roshar for his teasing with Arin. And that ending?! Talk about a major cliffhanger with the ultimate betrayal!

Overall, this book was fantastic. I recommend you pick up this series if you haven’t already.


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15 thoughts on “The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

  1. calliopethebookgoddess says:

    Oh my god oh my god, I just finished this book last night and I died cause u didn’t have anyone to talk to about that freaking ending! And then I’m loke, wait, someone posted recently a review for this, so yeah, now here I am. How could kestrel ‘ s father do that to her??? And oh my god, arin needs to know the truth now, if only teren gave arin the stupid letter on the first place, they wouldn’t have found it on him later! Oh why??? This book smashed my heart into a million pieces!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bookishkarina says:

    I died a little bit after finishing this book! I can’t even begin to imagine how all of this will end up turning out. That ending did me in, how can Kestrel’s father love for his country overpower his love for his OWN DAUGHTER?! My goodness, I can’t deal thinking about it all over again!
    I loved your review, btw. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dee @ the Bookish Khaleesi says:

      I’m so shocked that her father did that to her. I never liked him because of how he treated her but was hoping he was coming around when he listened to her playing piano. But nope! He’s evil. Ugh and the letter! He ruined Arin finding out the truth! I’m so frustrated 😭 but thanks Karina!!


      • bookishkarina says:

        I know! My heart broke for her because he played it off like he wasn’t going to say anything and then he pulls that crap on her! I knowwww! I can’t believe he won’t know until who knows when. I don’t think I can wait until March to find out what happens! I need to get mentally and emotionally prepared!


      • Dee @ the Bookish Khaleesi says:

        I think that’s the worst part. He said he trusted her and he never did. What a scumbag. UGH!!! Arin is going to blame himself for what happened to her. He’s going to be so crushed! I didn’t think March would be too bad to wait but it already feels like a century to me ): i don’t know if I’m ready.

        Liked by 1 person

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