|Read from May 5 to 9, 2015|
Published: March 3, 2015
Publisher: FSG (Macmillan)
Page Count: 402 pages
Series: The Winner's Trilogy, #2
This review is entirely spoiler free, even if you haven't read book one, The Winner's Curse.
The Winner's Crime is a fantastic continuation of one of the best fantasy series out there. Full of scandal, wonderful romance, and excellent world-building, The Winner's Crime is spectacular.
I'll be honest when I say that The Winner's Crime was slow in the beginning. This sequel focuses more on the government and behind the scenes scandal of the world, and it took a bit adjusting to that. Plus, the tables have turned since the last book. Kestrel and Arin have completely evolved into completely different people, so The Winner's Crime takes a completely different turn than the first book. While I had a little trouble adjusting to that, it was around the 100 page mark that everything clicked and I fell completely back into this world. Kestrel is one of my favorite heroines I've ever read about. She's strong and will fight for what she wants, and I love being on this journey with her. Arin takes a complete 180º in this sequel. I definitely appreciated how Rutkoski wasn't afraid to make her characters bend and change in this sequel instead of staying along the same path. Fantasy is one of my top favorite genres, and you can definitely bet that this trilogy has landed a place as being one of my favorites.
The stakes are completely raised and Rutkoski takes it to a whole new level in this sequel. You can definitely count on backstabbing, betrayal, and scandalous secrets in this trilogy, and The Winner's Crime does not fall short with the suspense. The world-building is expanded, and I loved how we get to see how Valoria's (where Kestrel lives) actions affect the rest of the world and the consequences that come with it. This series has so many layers to it; it's spectacular.
And the writing. Marie Rutkoski has one of the finest voices in YA. She pays attention to the details of her world, and she definitely takes a hold on the actions that come about. Another great part of The Winner's Trilogy is the fight scenes because there are two parts to them: you have the fight sequences, but the story mainly focuses on the behind-the-scenes scheme of the war. And it's so interesting. The bargaining, the planning, and the plot to do whatever it takes to win is definitely fascinating, and I couldn't get enough of this sequel.
AND THAT ENDING? I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I have no idea where Rutkoski is going to take this story in the conclusion, The Winner's Kiss, but I'm so ecstatic to see how it all wraps up!
Overall, The Winner's Crime did start off just a tad bit rocky for me, but it definitely picked up and the momentum never stopped. Rutkoski has created a rich, spectacular tale that is impossible to put down. Absolutely one of my favorites.
M Y R A T I N G