Title: The Winner’s Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Source: eARC from the publishers via Netgalley
My rating: 5/5
Following your heart can be a crime.
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.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I finished this book a few hours ago and I still can’t get over it! This sequel is badass, seriously. The Winner’s Crime is on a completely different scale of epic than The Winner’s Curse. The plot is very character-driven, while still expanding our knowledge of the world. Marie Rutkoski’s writing is as beautiful as ever; she carves her story so magnificently that I want to hang on to every word she writes. The sequel is compelling, intriguing and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I was a nervous-wreck reading this book! There were so many lies, betrayals, and deceits that I was overwhelmed (in a good way). And the ending?!? The most unbelievable betrayal of all!
“Sometimes you think you want something, when in reality you need to let it go.”
Kestrel: I loved her in the first book and my feelings haven’t changed after finishing the sequel. She had the roughest time throughout this book, my god. I’ve grown to care a lot for her, and just seeing her unhappy and sacrificing everything for the greater good while hurting made me feel very sympathetic towards her. She did make some bad choices and that bothered me, but I still knew and understood why she made them. Even with all the pain inside her, she still had all the personality traits i admired in the first book: wittiness, intelligence, sassiness, kindness.
If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.
Arin: Alright, so I wasn’t too fond of him in the Winner’s Curse, mainly because he seemed very cold and rude and I felt like Kestrel was chasing him, while he didn’t really care. But in the sequel it’s the opposite! Now it seemed like he’s the one desperately pursuing her. We get to see a new side of Arin in The Winner’s Crime, a much more kinder, softer and lovable side. He suffered his entire life and seeing him getting hurt over and over in the sequel was heart-breaking.
Side characters: I loved Prince Verex, he was so sweet and kind to Kestrel! He was always ready to help her when she needed a friend.
But I really want to murder the emperor, seriously! Gahhhh, I despise him so much. I feel like in very YA/Dystopian/Fantasy book, the king is the evil one, and it’s no different here. He can gladly jump off a cliff.
We also get introduced to many new characters and while we don’t get to learn that much about them, I feel like they brought a refreshing feeling to the novel.
*Sighhh* Where to begin? The storyline of this book is magnificent, to say the least. The tension between Arin and Kestrel began in the first few pages and was so intense and frustrating. There are so many secrets between them, and the fact is that they both thought it be best to keep them, well, secrets, when in fact it would have been better to just let them all out.
And it’s so frustrating being the reader, because you know the whole truth, while the characters think they know everything, when in reality they know NOTHING. The book had little to no romance, which I was okay with, because it made characters stand more in the spotlight. We also get to learn a lot more about the world and the political affairs between all the countries. The Valorians are currently at war with the easterners, and we actually get introduced to the easterners, their background and their feud with the Valorians and connection with Herran.
About half-way through the book is where things got complicated, like really complicated. There’s so much mystery in this novel, and it makes you second-guess all your predictions. I felt so much angst, frustration and fear while reading the last 100 pages. My heart was beating so fast! I didn’t know who to trust and by the end of the book I was shocked. That betrayal, I did not see it coming. I’m still not over it.
If you haven’t picked this book up yet, go do it now! If you didn’t really like The Winner’s Curse, still buy this book, because it’s waaay better and you won’t be disappointed. I had such an amazing reading experience with this and I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for the final book. *cries a river*
If you’re into betrayal, deceit, love, lies and mind-blowing plot twists, then I suggest you give it a go:)
Hope you all had a lovely day and I’ll see you in my next post!♥