Book review: The Winner’s Crime (TWC #2) by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime (TWC #2)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Daniela’s rating: +5 stars

Daniela’s review

Oh my god.

Oh my GOD!

This book completely gutted me. I swear.

NOTE: If you haven’t read the first book, you should not read this review, it may contain spoilers. I’ll try me best not to include them, but it might give some things away. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

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.

I swear, I won’t be able to stop thinking about these books for a while. I didn’t expect them to be SO DAMN CAPTIVATING. I mean, yes, they had a good blurb, I just never thought they would end up being the kind I obsess about.

Ok well, now you have a glimpse of how much I enjoyed book one and two.

But not everything was roses and unicorns. Ohhh no, there were definitely a thousand WTF moments and I’m gonna kill you moments. It wasn’t easy. It was frustrating and infuriating most of the time, but being the masochist that I am, I loved every single thing about it, because without these precious moments, the story wouldn’t have been as bittersweet and beautiful as it was.

So, if you’ve read these two books, you know Kestrel is now part of this huge plan. Arin is also part of a huge plan. They both play for the same side, only one of them truly knows that. The other is just blind to it. So, you can guess why it was so infuriating.

“There was dishonor, she decided, in accepting someone else’s idea of honor without question.” 

Kestrel turns into a freaking BADASS on this book. Like, TRULY. The girl is set on defying everything she feels is wrong. She’s going to do whatever she can to make things right, even when she knows it’s going to cost her greatly. I understood why she felt so guilty. It’s hard, to be against everything you’ve been taught since you were a little girl, to go against everything you thought was right, but actually isn’t. But the way she sees the world and the way she thinks of it, is just a wonderful thing. Yes, she annoyed the crap out of me, because sometimes I just wanted to scream at her and shake some sense into her, but what can you do? The girl is a mastermind when it comes to playing her cards right.

“I don’t mind being a moth. I would probably start eating silk if it meant that I could fly.” 

Then we have Arin. GAH, how Iove you. Seriously, I can’t begin to explain how much he means to me now. Like, I’m deeply obsess with him and I just don’t want to get him out of my head, because seriously, why would I want to do that? His deep awareness of everything that concerns Kestrel, how much he sees her and also doesn’t. How deep his feelings run, for Kestrel, his country, his family, his friends. He’s a stubborn, beautiful mess.

“Marry him,” Arin said, “but be mine in secret.” 

SWEET JESUS! I died a little when I read that.

The story itself became a lot more interesting in this book. Every single twist was a thousand times more shocking and they just sent me into into this emotional roller coaster: one second I was a raging ogre, the next one I was mad with love and passion and then I went back to ogre. It was like that the through the whole damn book. But it worked PERFECTLY. This book in particular is full of tiny little moments that are pure passion, not only between the main characters, but to their history and their beliefs. It all just gave me butterflies.

Marie Rutkoski is a genious. Like, seriously. This woman managed to create mystery and keep everything interesting and intriguing enough so you couldn’t stop. The character’s background is as interesting as their present. Everything fits perfectly.

This series is A MUST-READ. Like, not only that, but definitely worth re-reading, and I’m guessing I’ll do that soon. I can’t be away from these characters for too long. I miss them already.


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