Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: The Winner's Crime

Title: The Winner's Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Release Date: March 2015

Source: I borrowed a physical copy from the public library
Purchase from Amazon: Hardcoverpaperback or digital copy

Goodreads summary:

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.

My review:

The sequel kicked off with a bang, showing us what has happened in the short time since Kestral made the choice that would change not only her life, but Arin's and her country's. 

I am definitely growing on this romance. Before, I loved Arin for his honesty and faith, and I loved Kestral for her bluntness and decisiveness. Now I'm seeing how great they work with each other, but like them, I'm realizing it too late as their actions create a rift within the kingdom.

The emperor is a fantastic villain. He's so devious and sure of himself, but his cruelty comes off so flippantly that it's terrifying and addicting to watch. I really hope he continues to be a main character for the remainder of the series. 

I feel like I'm mainly talking about characters in this review, but it's because I loved each of them! Verex is such a sweet soul I wanted to spend the whole story with. Tensen wrapped me in from his first scene, a much needed grandfather figure. The only one I couldn't stand was Jess, but I didn't like her from the first book, so I have to say whatever happens to her will probably be okay with me.

The world-building definitely takes a stronger stage as travel picks up. The stakes are higher as politics become murky. The entire idea of honor and morals are tested, and it's shocking how these two are rarely related.

I loved this book, and I cannot wait until I can get a copy of the third book!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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