Book Review : The Winner’s Crime by Maria Rutkoski

March 9, 2015 Book review 12 ★★★★

Still loving this series!  I had a slow start with it but when it took off, it did so at lightning speed and I remembered just how much I enjoy this world.  I love how rich in detail the world building is and even more than that I adore the political manoeuvring.  The sly little dances they are all doing around each other just reels me right in.

Book Review : The Winner’s Crime by Maria RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Series: ,
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on March 12th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

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.

First Line of The Winner’s Crime by Maria Rutkoski:

“She cut herself opening the envelope.”

My Thoughts on The Winner’s Crime by Maria Rutkoski:

I’m mixing it up a bit today and instead of a review; I’m going to show you my emotions during the book instead: 

Impatient :  I thought the book started off slow and I wasn’t feeling the love between Kestrel and Arin.  Mostly because they are apart for most of the book.  But given time, all my questions and concerns were tied up to my full satisfaction.

Horrified: There is a gruesome torture scene that turned my stomach and woke me up fully to what a dangerous world Kestrel and Arin are tiptoeing around in.

Hatred:  The Emperor!  A thoroughly scary bad bad man and what’s more frightening is how clever he is and how he instinctively seems to know what’s happening everywhere.  *shivers

Thrilled : The strategy and game planning is my favourite part of the book and I love seeing Kestrel scheme and plan.  Her cleverness makes me want to stand up and cheer!  There is nothing like an intelligent heroine.

Interested : I really liked the new characters.  Especially Risha, an Eastern Princess who was kidnapped as a child and raised in the imperial palace as a hostage.  I know there is so much more to her story and I can’t wait for the next book where she’ll hopefully feature even more.

Scared : As much as I love Kestrel’s daring and double dealing, it also petrified me.  See my thoughts on the Emperor above.  Enough said!

Elated: There was a brief scene between Kestrel and Arin by a bridge and it reignited all my feels for this couple.  How could I ever have doubted them!  Their love is the real thing and I might have swooned a little!

Frustrated : Just shut up and kiss guys.  You know you love each other!

Impatient : This time for a different reason!  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough; I wanted action and action I got.  When the pace got going, it was lightening fast and I loved it.

Anxious:  Oh my gosh, is this really how this is going to end?!  Someone pass me comfort food…quick!

Impatient: For the next book!  The ending has set this up perfectly and I can’t wait to see where this series goes.  I’m speculating furiously in my head but I can’t predict what will happen.

Overall this one dragged me though a field of emotions and I felt like a dishevelled mess afterwards.  And I LOVED it!


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read The Winner’s Crime by Maria Rutkoski?

I’d highly recommend this series to those who like Young Adult fantasy series with original worldbuilding, cunning characters and lots of romantic tension.  If you enjoyed The Winner’s Curse I think you’ll equally enjoy this one but do be prepared for a slowish start.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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12 Responses to “Book Review : The Winner’s Crime by Maria Rutkoski”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    This definitely sounds like a roller coaster read! I’ve been curious about this series (okay mostly because the cover caught my eye) I like seeing your progression of emotions through the book and thanks for the warning that it’s a bit of a slow start!

    – I’ve gotten better about counting calories and the other day I had a not so great self control day and I didn’t want to count the 4th Cadbury egg and then I thought Trish would count it and got my act together. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Heartbreak Hotel – Review

    • trish

      I kind of enjoyed doing the emotions format so I might try that again soon!
      And well done for counting! I always find when I’m honest with myself that it helps me get back on track sooner and not every day can be a perfect diet day! 🙂

    • trish

      Aw, thanks Catherine! I’ve missed doing them too but I had a bit of a blog burnout and then I was on hols and then I was sick and the weeks just all rolled into each other. I’m hoping to be back this week! Thanks for missing me!

    • trish

      Well all you need to know is that this series rocks! And good call on waiting till they are all out as I’m itching to get my hands on book 3 and see how it all ends! 🙂

    • trish

      I’m trying to mix things up a bit as I’m bored of writing the same type of reviews. I kind of enjoyed doing the emotions rundown so you might see it again soon!

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