16 January, 2015

#BookReview :: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

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.

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Fair warning… Those of you who have not yet read the first book of this series, this review has some spoilers from it.

Kestrel’s bargain with the emperor seems to have sealed the fates of Kestrel and Arin. Kestrel is now engaged to Verex, the crown prince and Arin is set as the Governor of Herran, a colony to the empire. As Kestrel molds herself to play the role of the future empress, she meets new people makes allies and enemies, she is living a lie. She still yearns for Arin and to tell him the truth behind her engagement. Arin on the other hand struggles to govern his people and at the same time he looks for new allies. But there is a bigger picture that is bigger than both Kestrel and Arin. Will they be able to see it in time? Or will they be trapped in the traps of their own making.

Quite a few new characters have been introduced in this book. I particularly liked Verex. I wish the author had shared more about him. It feels like I know him yet do not know him completely. Hope he has a bigger role to play in the next book. Kestrel has matured a lot in this book, though she still remains a bit conflicted. Her strategizing mostly pays off and some of her ideas were brilliant, but her mistakes were big too. I did not like Arin much in this book. He felt like a fool to not realize the bargain that Kestrel had made with the emperor. The emperor on the other hand is a cunning fellow and throughout the book I looked forward to his next move.

The author has progressed the plot well enough from the first book. But the cliffhanger is really torturous. I can’t even begin to imagine the twists and turns that the next book will take us through. A well followed up sequel that builds up the tension just right. Cannot wait for the final book in the series.

Review copy from Netgalley

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