Warning ***Massive Spoilers of the First Book***
Title: The Winner’s Crime
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy
Number in Series: 2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
“Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.”
So the last book left off with Kestrel making a HUGE sacrifice to save Arin and his country from sure destruction. The feels were everywhere! And this book just picked up where the previous one left off.
Overall, I felt this was a sad book. I loved it, but it didn’t have many easy moments. Between Arin’s constantly waffling on whether he could trust Kestrel or even if he wanted to love her, to Kestrel having to deceive him to save him, I just felt the one-two punch on every page.
But Rutoski is a bona-fide genius. She has perfectly captured the essences of what a trilogy should be. So far both books in this trilogy have not disappointed, and kept the energy and intensity up. I need to read the third book, because with the ending of this one, I have NO idea how our two lovers are going to make it back together.
As I said before, I would have done ANYTHING in my power to acquire this series. I feel so jealous of her editor.
Side note: Check out the redesign of the first book in paperback! It is gorgeous!