Sunday, April 12, 2015

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

Title: The Winner's Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Macmillan
Date Published: March 3rd, 2015
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Court Intrigue, Young Adult
Links: Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Author's Website
Rating: 4.3 stars! (Don't look at me like that)

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.

My Review

Wow, that was intense. I have been waiting for this book to come out since I read the first one and was not disappointed. Lady Kestrel is a strategist, she knows how to play the game. She knows how to play maybe a little too well for her own conscience. One of the things that really stand out to me about Kestrel's character is that she isn't a bumbling newcomer to court. I notice that in many fantasy books with the Court Intrigue setting, the main character is usually thrust into the world having to figure out the rules. This definitely is not the case for Kestrel. Even though she is far from green, it doesn't mean Kestrel is the best or the most experienced at court. We see that in the manipulations and schemes of the emperor, whose years may be Kestrel's downfall. I think that Marie wrote that aspect beautifully.

Verex and Risha were so cute! Their characters are very mysterious, and I hope we find out more about what happens to them in the next book!

The Couple I Have to Talk About: Arin and Kestrel.

I honestly felt that their romance was not what carried this book for me. Sure it was there, but it wasn't the thing I was most invested in. It's kind of ironic because it's literally the thing that could make or break the empire based on Arin and/or Kestrel's decisions, but I just feel like it was in the background, even though it wasn't, if that makes any sense. It's the reason that this book doesn't have a full 4.5 stars. (I still love you guys!)

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