Published by Bloomsbury ANZ on 12th March 2015
Format: E-Book, Paperback
Boffins, Dymocks, Booktopia
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.
Have I told you how much I love this series? No? Then let me sing my love for this trilogy from the highest trees.
The Winner’s Trilogy is sublime. It’s everything a non fantasy reader like myself wants in a fantasy book, with a fantastically crafted and engaging world modelled on Greco-Roman society (the Author’s Note in the back of The Winner’s Curse is a must read for ancient history lovers!) and perfectly flawed characters you can’t help but fall in love with. Every page, every word, leaves you breathless and hanging. I’m not usually one who is a fan of third person point of view, but like her fantasy compatriot, Sarah J Maas, Rutkoski executes it perfectly. So rather than bore you with big words and lengthy paragraphs, here’s five reasons why you’ll love The Winner’s Crime.
- Move Over, Romance
So there isn’t really a lack of romance, because the whole trilogy is about the effects of the relationship between Arin and Kestral, but in The Winner’s Crime the romance really takes a step back and focuses more on developing the characters and the world – for obvious reasons you’ll know about if you’ve read The Winner’s Curse. It’s quite refreshing to read a YA novel where the romance isn’t the centre focus of the story. And if you think that the ending of Book One would lead to a love triangle, you’re totally safe.
- Political Intrigue, Betrayals, Murder, Oh My!
I love books where everyone is betraying everyone. A bit weird, I know, but I think it makes for better plot twists. The Winner’s Crime is just full of it. There’s so much tension, with the threat of war between the Herrani and the Empire and beyond. Political intrigue intensifies as Kestral struggles to make clear of the Emperor’s actions and twisted plots. And that ending. OH THAT ENDING!
- The Winner’s Crime Takes You Beyond the Empire
Another reason I love this trilogy so much is because Rutkoski has created such an intriguing fantasy world that one just wishes she had time to explore it all. Sadly, because of plot, we don’t have time to be tourist, but unlike other novels where the world isn’t fully developed enough to make it feel like you’re in an actual place, this trilogy actually takes you beyond the fantasy veil and transports you to into the setting.We get to see past the Empire, where the majority of the action is happening, and see how other nations and kingdoms have been affected by the atrocities that the Empire has wreaked upon the world.
- Secondary Characters Aren’t Just Background Noise
I love when secondary characters are more than just their name. Every single one of the secondary characters in this series is totally justified, and I love seeing the different relationships grow and evolve or fray as Kestrel and Arin learn the consequences of their actions around them. It all makes for pretty heady stuff to be honest. And my new favourite? The King of Sass, Rosh. I just love the growing bromance between him and Arin.
- Arin & Kestrel’s Growth & Relationship.
I don’t know two people more doomed than these two! Talk about not cutting a break. I love it! One of the things I love about the books is that Kestral is such a different heroine than what we are usually given, and that is completely refreshing. These two are literally the opposite sides of the same coin, and it’s interesting to watch (read?) them learn and grow within their actions, and how the different circumstances of their birth have led to those actions. And of course who can’t deny that that slow burn chemistry between the two of them is just sizzling?
Have you read The Winner’s Crime yet? Let me know what you think in the comments, and stay tuned for my review of the final book in one of my favourite fantasy series!