Early Review of What Has to be the Most Painful Book of 2015: The Winner's Crime
It is very rare that I want a book even after I have it in my hands, so it was a wonderful feeling getting 'The Winner's Crime' in my hands and eagerly digging into it instead of putting it off like I usually do. That itself was the first sign that this novel was going to be amazing and would wreck my heart. Even so, I never could have foreseen exactly how much this book would hurt...everything.
Almost everyone who read 'The Winner's Curse' this year probably died at the cliffhanger in the last book; I was the same, wondering what was going to happen between Arin and Kestrel, and wondering why I had to wait SO LONG to find out. Now though, I kind of wish I did not find out, because oh, the pain. Once I began reading, I literally could not and did not stop until I was finished and heartbroken. You would think the many encounters between Arin and Kestrel would make my day - and trust me, they did - but the things they said to each other were just...ugh! Is it honestly too much to ask for a happy ending nowadays? Thank goodness this series is a trilogy though; at least I know I hope that the third book will have a happily ever after, because come on, it is the third book! Anyways, enough of my whining; I am sure you did not come here just to hear me fangirl.
One of my English teachers once said that if a book makes you cry, then it is amazing. Considering that I read this entire book through a sheen of tears, I will have to agree with that. 'The Winner's Crime' is the type of book that makes you feel miserable, gets your hopes up, makes you throw those hopes in the trash, sob when your hopes reach the top of the peak again, and then finally rip your heart out when nothing goes as planned. The feels I got from this book were incredible and devastating all at once, and yet at the same time I am eager, more than eager, to read the next book. Marie Rutkoski's writing was beautiful in the last book, and I can only say that it is the same, if not even better, in this one. Anyone who has not read the series yet needs to put down everything they are currently doing and binge-read the first novel in the trilogy.
There is nothing at all that I can say is bad about this book; everything was simply perfect. The plot was well-developed, the relationship between the two main characters the most unique I have ever read, and there was not a single moment during the story where I thought I am not interested in you, go back to the other character or this is so boring. With several books, the author puts the romance before the more important plot points, but this novel balanced everything out equally while still giving Arin-Kestrel shippers everything they would never ask for. I was not quite sure about whether I would change my favorite book after reading just the first book in the series - though trust me, it was AMAZING - but after reading this, I think I can officially say that The Winner's Trilogy is my new favorite thing ever!
Book Synopsis: Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.
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.
Source: A copy was received from Farrar Straus Giroux for review.