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 ReviewAuthor: Marie Rutkoski
Date of Publication: March 3, 2015
The Winner's Crime was definitely a great sequel; well written and intricate. I remember being wowed by the mind games and deceptions in The Winner's Curse. My mind was so frayed whilst reading this one that I spent a lot of my time pondering if a certain passage meant what it was supposed to mean or if there was a hidden meaning behind it. I exhausted myself and I never got my answer, though the ending of the book was satisfying and well executed.
Kestrel who I adored for her wits, was a bit of a mess in The Winner's Crime. I wouldn't blame her, but feeling as lost and confused as I did in my own head whilst reading her point of view did little to make her decisions relatable. I could see her slip in her games and I cringed. The lying and withholding of information was also annoying though the climax was brilliantly done. I felt like I was there in the audience, my head turning ferociously from one character to the next to try and gauge all of their reactions at once.
Arin's chapters weren't my favourite. I like him, I do, but his storyline was slow and uninteresting. I would be lying if I didn't admit to skimming his chapters in the second half. Arin was just so blind to the truth and it infuriated me.
I don't have much else to say, I finished the book 10 minutes ago and I'm already starting to forget the details. Like I said, it's not all the book's fault as my mood was a big determinant. Even still, here is something to go by, I finished it in two days and two sittings. It's a gripping read.
P.S. I'm not giving it a pity 3 star. There was a lot of a good: well written and executed plot, interesting new characters like the King, and the Herrani minister of agriculture. My review just explored more the dark side.