Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Curse #2)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016
“Following your heart can be a crime
A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It 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? For 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.” (Goodreads)
What a crazy turn of events this was!
Although I didn’t like it as much as the first, I still really enjoyed it and there are some times I questioned why authors must torture our poor emotions.
Kestrel has definitely met her match when it comes to trying to best the emperor. She is doing everything she can to help those she cares about but she is risking a lot and many of consequences are quite cruel. I didn’t like how her friends abandoned her and never tried to understand her position. They are a bunch of dillweeds and she is better off without them.
I think that is one of the differences between this one and the first book. This one takes on a whole new life as being darker and honestly, it made for some intense reading. There are still sweet moments or even just ones to brighten the mood but it will have you feeling so many things.
Arin is still around and we also continue to get his point-of-view. I feel for him and everything he is going through. You can tell he really cares for Kestrel and it’s so hard to not see them together. I loved that tension/banter in the first book and I was really missing it in this one.
Since we were introduced to the emperor at the end of the last book, he gets a major role in this one. I definitely dislike the guy. There is nothing good about him and I can’t wait until someone takes him out. I’m glad his son is nothing like him.
There are other new characters, some have better endings than others. There is no holding back!
From my review, you basically understand that there is also going on when it comes to the plot. Political intrigue is at the top of the last and although that can be hit or miss for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it in this book. The ending was a killer and I just have no words. Luckily I already own the third book and I won’t have to wait to dive in.
Overall, this was a whirlwind of a book. I tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible which is really hard! If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it. It’s one that I can see myself coming back to.