I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE WINNER’S CRIME BY MARIE RUTKOSKIThe Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by Square Fish on 3/29/16
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. 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: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin's freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She's working as a spy in the court. If caught, she'll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can't help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret. This dazzling follow-up to The Winner's Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Short and Sweet

In the last book we see that Kestrel made a deal to free the Herran in exchange for her hand in marriage to the emperor’s son. Kestrel is now in Valoria surrounded by Valorians and all of the riches she could want, but she’s unhappy. All Kestrel wants is to help further Arin’s cause and help the Herrani people but she also knows that she has to remain loyal to her father the general and her own people.


~ “If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

~ “Sometimes you think you want something,” Arin told him, “when in reality you need to let it go.”

My Thoughts

~ There’s so much going on in this book with Kestrel, shes living with the emperor and his son preparing for their wedding, but she’s also trying to figure out how she can help the Herrani from Valoria.

~ Arin is still in Herran and even though his people are technically free, but the Valorians are taking anything from the country and it’s leaving the Herran people with little faith.

~ Kestrel and Prince Verex do not get along during the first half of the book, due to Verex knowing that Kestrel has her own motives for wanting to marry him. They both make a truce and he becomes helpful by letting Kestrel know not to play games with the emperor.

~ At her engagement party Kestrel meets Tensen, Herrani’s minister of agriculture. She agrees to give him political information as long as he does not let Arin know where he’s getting the information.

~ When Kestrel becomes a spy for the Herran she has to try to keep a low profile but that’s hard for her to do especially with Arin around.

~ When Kestrel decided to become a spy I got nervous for her. The emperor was not a nice man and I felt like if she made one wrong move she would be killed.

~ I honestly liked reading from Kestrel’s point of view rather than Arin’s. I know his POV was important, because we got to see what was happening in Herran but Kestrel was risking it all in the Valoria.

~ The ending killed me. I don’t even know how to describe Kestrel, crazy, brave, courageous? Ugh I don’t even know what I would do in that situation and I can’t believe that it even happened the way it did.


I need to read the final book in this series asap! The ending in this book was too much for me to just not want the next book in my hands. I want to see what Kestrel and Arin do next and how everything will wrap up. If you’re looking for a new series to start this is a great one! There’s love, betrayal, and a lot of politics involved.





  1. I thought book 1 was awesome, but this one was even better, and can’t even fathom how spectacular the d will be. Marie Rutkoski has a knack for bringing you to the brink of happiness before throwing you to the ground in misery.

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