book photography · book reviews

the winner’s crime review

the winner’s crime by marie rutkoski (the winner’s trilogy, book 2)

overall rating: 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

characters: 4.5

character development: 3

plot: 4.5

writing: 4

romance: 4

genre: YA, fantasy, romance

*spoilers for book 1, skip ahead to my thoughts*


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.

my thoughts:

i read the winner’s curse last year and loved it, and i’d been trying to get my hands on the rest of the series for so long. the winner’s crime was an amazing sequel that met all my expectations and left me even more excited for the last book.

the characters in this book are all likable (in different ways), and i find them intriguing. however, i feel like kestrel doesn’t change much over the course of the story, and i wish there was more development.

the plot is perfectly paced—it’s full of action, but it doesn’t move too quickly. combined with rutkoski’s writing, the story really pulled me in. i really enjoyed reading her style, but i did have one problem with the narration. it’s a little confusing for me because the story is told through third person pov, and it can be hard to tell who’s thinking what.

finally, i felt like this book lacks romance. i really wish there were more scenes with kestrel and arin, but i’m hoping that will be satisfied in book 3!

overall, the winner’s crime is a near-perfect sequel to the winner’s curse, and i would definitely recommend it!

goodreads || book depository

have you read this? what did you think?


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