The Winner’s Crime | Review + Discussion

Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 STARS!!!

Warning! Contains Spoilers for The Winner’s Curse. See that review here.


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. 

Spoiler Free Review:

I didn’t think it could get any better than the first book.

I am SO HAPPY that I was wrong!

The writing was so beautiful, I felt myself feeling all of the emotions expressed, and having a crystal clear picture in my mind. 

And the story is just perfect. I was even more attached to the characters than I was in the first book, so it was an insanely emotional read. And when I say emotional, I mean:

Marie Rutkoski is extremely talented in characterization. All of the characters are complex, making you love them or hate them with every fiber of your being.

If you like fantasy, purely beautiful writing, and a heart wrenching story, please, PLEASE pick up this book!

Spoiler Full Discussion:


Wow. Just wow.

So, let’s start with the emporer. That guy makes me SO FREAKING MAD. He’s so despicable and creepy. Then he makes her watch the Herrani’s torture, and oh my goodness, I was about ready to throw up myself.

And then we see Arin, and–excuse me, I need to go sob now.

When I thought Arin wasn’t going to come to the palace, UGH I WAS DEVASTAED. 

But, HE MADE IT!!!! That scene me so happy and so sad. So very sad. The emotions!!!!!!

The scene with the emporer digging his thumb into Kestel’s arm freaked me out  SO MUCH. I was just sitting there cringing.

I like Prince Verex, he’s nice. I think he’ll be a really good friend for Kestrel.


But the ending. What was that. What. What.