Friday, March 25, 2016

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: March 3, 2015
Pages: 402
Source/format: Purchased // Hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from

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.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Kestral is a strategist, resourceful and diplomatic. She is the ideal woman to marry the Emperor's son because she will be a fine ruler. The Emperor believes Kestral will lead the Valorians well. However, the Emperor knows Kestral said yes to the marriage to keep the peace between the Valorians and the Herrani people. The Emperor is cunning and makes Kestral play a game. The dessert, the conversations and everything to comes forth is just a game. How will Kestral fare? Will she play the game well?

From the first paragraph of The Winner's Crime, I was hooked! I love The Winner's Curse so I had high expectations for the sequel. Marie Rutkoski is a master of world building and writes beautifully. Her prose is lush and exquisite. Clever and well calculated decisions are made in this installment. Rutkoski intertwines intricate world building with power dynamics making this series stand out! This is a historical fantasy at its finest with the mix of the old world, the scheming mind games and the epic cliff hanger!

Who can you trust? With the deception and betrayal with the Valorians and the Herrani, everyone is wary to trust others. However, some people are put to the test to see where their loyalties lie. The unrequited love between Kestrel and Arin is there! They lie to each other, trying to protect each other but in return, there is a lot of tension. Sacrifices are made for the greater good but what defines the greater good?

The Winner's Crime is a stunning follow up to The Winner's Curse. The Winner's Kiss, the final in the trilogy, will be published Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Make sure to pre-order the book or pick it up at your local book store on the day of the release! You won't regret it!


  1. Ah! I am so excited to get my hands on The Winner's Kiss this week! I really enjoyed this second book too. It was more brutal than the first one in a lot of ways but as you point out all of the earmarks that made the first book great are here including Kestrel and Arin's super complicated relationship. Great review!

    1. I can't wait for The Winner's Kiss and I am super excited it's out this week. So close!!!