All right! Here's my review!
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.
The Winner's Crime is an amazing book! It carries everything good from the first book and keeps going with it! I absolutely love this book! I think if you loved and enjoyed The Winner's Curse, you're going to have a great time with this.
I love Kestrel and Arin! Both together and apart! I think they're such great characters that fit each other perfectly. They're both so intelligent and quick and sharp that it's so much fun to see them interact with each other. That said, I really, really adore Kestrel. I love that she's terrible at fighting, but compensates with her mind. She's almost this super genius character like Sherlock Holmes, where nothing escapes her notice. She see details everywhere and can basically work out what happened and people's motives without hardly blinking an eye. She is so smart! I love her! She's this incredibly brave and resourceful character that I don't think exists too much in the current books I've read. I'd love to see more characters like her, where her wit and genius come into play.
Something that struck me once I finished this was...While The Winner's Crime trilogy is a high fantasy series, it has absolutely NO magic in it! Isn't that weird? I only realized it after I finished, but The Winner's Curse is completely based on politics! And saying that makes the book sound really boring, but I swear -- it's not! I find it fascinating that Marie Rutkoski has created this totally new world that's completely unique and rich, yet doesn't depend on magic. I think that's so cool! There aren't a lot of fantasy books that don't contain magic -- and don't get me wrong, I love magic! -- but it's so interesting to me that in a really shallow way, it's almost like reading historical fiction, except that there's no basis in our world's history. Uhhh, I don't know if that makes sense, but yeah, I am completely awed by it and I admire it so much for that reason!
Marie Rutkoski has beautiful writing with lyrical prose without it being too flowery. You don't get bogged down with long sentences of description but she uses this almost bare (?) but elaborate language that really encompasses the feeling of the book. I will admit that some of her metaphors went over my head and I had to read through it a couple of times to get the meaning, but it didn't really bother me that much.
If you haven't read The Winner's Curse, I highly, highly recommend them! It's a fantasy story with amazing writing and, especially if you enjoy high fantasy, this is going to be such a blast! But even if fantasy's not your thing, I would still recommend this! It's an amazing book! Read it!! :D
Erin @The Romance Bookie