THE WINNER’S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski {Review}

THE WINNER’S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski {Review}
by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on March 3, 2015
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Provided by: Publisher
Rating: five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars
This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


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.


THE WINNER’S CRIME is the electrifying, tension-filled, and totally epic second installment in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. Treachery, danger, lies and heartbreak await readers in this exciting and twisty-turny tale. The games are more complex, the players more cunning, the stakes even higher, and the losses positively lethal, making this a breathtaking and nail-biting read.

Kestrel sacrificed her heart to ensure the safety of Arin and the Herrani people. But if she wants them to remain safe, she’s going to have to play by the Emperor’s rules and keep both him and Arin in the dark about how she really feels and what she’s really up to. With spies watching her every move and the Emperor forever calculating, she’s going to have to be a master at deceit if she wants the truth to remain hidden.

And with Arin trying to discover whether her actions are part of a bigger plan or if she really feels  nothing for him, it won’t be easy. But trusting Arin with her secrets and to do what’s right for his people is dangerous. Because while she is willing to forfeit her happiness, marry Prince Verex and become the future Empress of the Valorian empire, she’s not so sure that he wouldn’t stand in her way.

Author Marie Rutkoski penned yet another thrilling and beautiful and heartrending story in this stunning and incredibly suspenseful series. Gorgeous writing allows the story to unfold in a way that will draw readers in from the start and immerse them in this world where intrigue, deception,  and cruelty reign. She delivers a well-paced and riveting novel filled to the brim with risky alliances, covert meetings, perilous journeys, unfathomable punishments, and forbidden love.

She gives readers a heroine who has become even more insightful, more self-sacrificing, and far more skilled at misleading not only her enemies but those she cares most about. She pits Kestrel against a deadly and insidious foe. And she forces her to become stronger so she will be able to resist the temptation to reveal her secrets, to overcome loss, and to take the risks necessary to save lives.

In THE WINNER’S CRIME friendships will end, trust will be broken, hearts will shattered, and lives will be destroyed. Every moment between Kestrel and Arin will be filled with anticipation as to whether Kestrel will be able to keep up the facade of indifference toward him or whether it will collapse, allowing him to discover the truth. Games, plots, betrayal and heartache abound in this  extraordinary, must read sequel with an ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the final installment.




Rachel (a.k.a. Fiktshun) has been blogging about (mostly YA) books since 2010. She always has and always will believe that reading YA rocks and thinks she's found the perfect place to ramble here at RYAR.