Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 3rd 2015
Summary: The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince is the event of a lifetime. It 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…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit. She’s a spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I just finished reading this and I’m not so sure as to whether the second instalment in the series deserves 4 stars. I might drop it to 3 but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see because the ending saved this book.
The Winner’s Crime follows the events of the first book. We see Kestrel adjusting to her new position as the future empress and Arin trying to manage his people’s new found freedom. Their both on different paths, trying to come to terms with their decisions and working through it. It’s painfully obvious that Arin and Kestrel are very much in love with each other, the yearning is pretty strong throughout the book but their circumstances obviously will never give these two a break.
On the romance front, there is drastic cut down from the previous book although there were a few moments that really tugged at my heart strings. This book did not shy away from all the terrible things. There’s torture, lies, deceit, attempted murder and much more. No character is left untouched, emotionally or physically. We also get to know a lot more about Verex and the emperor. It’s kind of funny how two people can be so different. Verex is a kind friend while the emperor, well you’ll just have to go read for yourself just how crazy this guy really is. In addition we also get to read more about Kestrel and her relationship with her father.
The pacing of this book was very slow for me. Certain parts felt draggy but then it would pick up with some very exciting scenes. It took me a long while to read this, I’m not sure if it’s because of me or the writing but I just wish the end scene came earlier or things should have moved along faster.
Nevertheless, the story was very enjoyable but it could have been better.
All I can say is that the ending left me feeling very excited for the last book and my anticipation level has shot up a notch.