The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Trilogy, Book #2

By Marie Rutkoski

ISBN# 9780374384708

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

the-winners-crime-the-winners-trilogy-marie-rutkoskiKestrel is now having to deal with the consequences of the choice she made in the previous book, The Winner’s Curse.  She bargained with the Emperor agreeing to marry his son, Verex, in exchange for letting Herran govern themselves instead of invading them and killing them all, saving Arin’s life.  Arin is now the governor.  He has no idea about the agreement Kestrel initiated and is devastated that Kestrel is getting married.

Arin came to the Capital as commanded to by the Emperor to celebrate the upcoming wedding.  He even snuck an impromptu conversation with Kestrel where he attempts to get the truth from her about why she’s marrying the prince.  A truth she wasn’t willing to give him.  Kestrel’s one and only friend discovered what transpired between Kestrel and Arin, effectively ruining their friendship.

The Emperor doesn’t trust Kestrel and is keeping a close eye on her, especially where the Herrani are concerned.  One false move and he will make Kestrel pay by hurting one that she loves.

This book didn’t captivate me the way the first installment of this trilogy did.  A lot of the reason for that could be because Arin and Kestrel spent so much of the book apart, trying to fight their feelings for one another.  But I’m hoping the third book will make up for all of that!

I felt bad for Verex.  He seemed like a genuinely good guy, being forced into a marriage he didn’t want, while his heart pined for another.  But he didn’t let that stop him from being a decent guy and making the best of a bad situation.  He knows how his father is and knew they were helpless in the situation, but he tried to look to the future and how he and Kestrel could make things better in the future when they rule the empire.

Then there is Kestrel’s father.  I have no good words for him.  He always seems very cold and cruel to me, but the ending of this book only proved how heartless he truly is.

Now all ties to Kestrel’s past have officially been cut leaving things open for an epic romance to unfold, once her shining knight realizes what’s happened and comes to her rescue that is!  I can’t wait to see this romance blossom, at last!