Monday, March 2, 2015

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski ARC Review + Giveaway

The winner's crime

The Winner's CrimeTHE WINNER'S CRIME
Marie Rutkoski
(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
Published: March 3rd, 2015
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
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.

Check out my review of Book One, THE WINNER'S CURSE HERE & my Pre-Review of book two, THE WINNER'S CRIME HERE!!

The Winner's Trilogy
The Winner's CurseThe Winner's Crime  

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)


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A stunning and absolutely dazzling world of forbidden romance, broken countries, shattered lives, and determined and unforgettable characters, with sizzling plot twist that will have you in dire need of book three. THE WINNER'S CRIME was breathtaking and heartbreakingly wonderful!!

Beautifully, and elegantly written, THE WINNER'S CRIME enchanted me from the very beginning until the last sentence. I was dazzled by the smooth and fresh writing that flowed with ease and entranced me into a cocoon of pure bliss. In book one I swept away by the unforgettable and truly unique writing that hypnotized me and kept my heart racing until the end. And in this sequel, THE WINNER'S CRIME was no exception to the full lengths of Marie Rutkoski's brilliant writing skills. She has this spellbinding way with words and world making, and character chemistry that is beyond exceptional. She's a mastermind of a storyteller that everyone should have the honor to read!!

The romance in this book was what I had an issue with. I LOVE Kestrel and Arin. I mean, I am head over heels in love with them as a couple. I think their perfect for each other in just about every way, and bring the best out in each other, and have this electrifying chemistry that sends shock waves through me with each sentence their together.

BUT... in THE WINNER'S CRIME there is like ZERO ROMANCE!! YES, you heard that right, ZERO ROMANCE!! Well, no I'm lying, there is these really small little scene where their is some type of love between them. But it was forced and shielded by they're new places in their new life, and they were prudent in keeping their distances, even if it hurt them like hell. And it was heartbreaking to say the least, watching such pain and sorrow as they endured the heartache and loss of love! I just REALLY wanted more from their relationship. Even understanding the reasoning of why Marie Rutkoski had them at each others throat whenever they came within 5 feet of each other, but it was still heartbreaking to watch. It was literally tearing my heart and soul out just to read their harsh encounters. And that made me not enjoy this book as much as book one for that reason and that reason alone. I wanted, NO, NEED, more of Kestrel and Arin time, and if we don't get it in book three, oh well I may just have a to take this trilogy and stomp them into the ground with steel toed boats a million times just to feel better! ;)

But honestly, besides the relationship issue, I LOVED everything else. The plot was terrifyingly wonderful, and the betrayals were beyond shocking, and totally gut-wrenching to watch unfold. The world in court life was like any other political intrigue novel—lies and deception, betrayals and defiance, plotting and scheming, eager courtiers and snobby nobility, all tied up in blood and murder, and evil emperors wanting nothing more but to conquer all and destroy all who oppose him. But this book was so much fun and a huge change from THE WINNER'S CURSE book setting. And I have a feeling that book three is going to be a totally different book setting then either book one or two. And I am SOOOOOOO looking forward to relishing in the explosive finale that will either shatter the Valorians rule, or the Herrani submission, or, just maybe, maybe shatter both worlds and be something totally unpredictable!! I wouldn't put it past Rutkoski to come up with something so shocking an totally unexpected. BRING IT!!!



Engaged to the crown prince of Valoria, Kestrel should be relishing in the most desired man of all their empire, but she's not. Marrying the crown prince is actually the last thing she desires. With her heart belonging to another, but her fate promised to the Valoria empire, she has excepted her future and the sacrifice it's made for the greater good, even if it still hurts like hell...

Forced into marriage with the prince as a bargaining chip for freeing Herran from the vicious rule the emperor had on the Herrani slaves, Kestrel has finally freed them from his iron grip and malicious way of living. But payed the ultimate price with her hand in marriage. But what really weighs on her is not the loss of her hand in marriage, but her loss of her heart that is owned by Arin, the slave she bought from the slave auction so many months ago. Falling in love with him really was the winner's curse...

Now living in the imperial palace as the future Queen to the Valorian Empire, Kestrel must play the hand she dealt herself before more questions threaten to arise and shatter her already fragile world. But as also the imperial ambassador to the now independent territory of Herran, and having to work with the new territory and governor that she traded her life for, she's starting to believe she may be in way over her head.

Kestrel will have to decide just where and who her true loyalties lie, and if she's willing to lay it all on the line for the Herrani people she's already saved once. Or if she's willing to let them all crash and burn under the emperor's cruel wrath...


Now the Governor to the independent territory of Herran, Arin has his work cut out for him. As a former slave to the war Generals daughter Kestrel, and the blacksmith at their estate, he and the former leader of the Herrani rebellion have taken their home territory of Herran back by force. But keeping it was the challenge, and Arin realized they were fighting a war they couldn't win. So when the imperial emperor offered Herrani their freedom as a self-governed territory with Arin as their governor, it all seem to good to be true. But of course, with no other options he agreed, and unknowingly sealed with it his beloveds fate as the future queen to the imperial empire, and lost her forever....

With the weight of the whole territory of Herran on his shoulders, and little resource or accesses to the means in keeping his new territory fed, Arin is coming to the horrifying realization of just why the emperor offered his gracious deal when he did. And unless he finds a way to feed his people and quick, they will all fall to illness and starvation, and the emperor will eliminate the whole Herrani race without even going to war. And that is something Arin cannot allow without going down fighting...

But if the emperor thinks that they'll just roll over and give up, then he has another thing coming. Arin is determined to build he's territory to it's fullest and forge alliances with the neighboring city of Dacran, in hopes of building an army strong enough to withstand the Valorian army's wrath, and finally end the Valorian rule over the Herrani people once and for all. But in Arin's world, nothing is that simple, and he will have to fight to the death if is going to survive this battle. And his love/hate relationship with Kestrel may just be his ultimate downfall...

THE WINNER'S CRIME was beautifully crafted and enchantingly wonderful!! With it's fine touch of exquisite imperial life, and it's captivating characters that would invade anyone's heart, to it's addicting plot twist and heart-pounding revelations, THE WINNER'S CRIME is a sequel NOT TO BE MISSED!!!

Overall, if your looking for heart-pounding romance like THE WINNER'S CURSE, you won't find it here. But if you want a thrilling plot, with unforgettable events, and ultimate betrayals, with shattered hearts, and races on the brink of extinction, then THE WINNER'S CRIME will definitely satisfy and some...

I received a physical ARC from Macmillan for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook


  1. My favorite cover is the second book! The blue is just so pretty!

  2. I really like the Winner's Curse cover.

  3. I really like the Winner's Curse cover.

  4. I like the Winner's Crime cover the most! In Red ;)
    Mary G Loki

  5. Book two is my favorite cover. Love the blue color. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  6. I love the shade of blue in the second cover.

  7. I love the cover with red dress, very striking, but book one it's my favorite, love the pose too

  8. I love the cover with the blue dress. <3

  9. Thank you so much for the review! I'll have soon my own copy of "The Winner's Curse" so I can't wait for the sequel!

  10. This is such a great review! You can feel your excitement for the book through the words. I was trying to guess how you'd rate it as I read, and I thought 5* until you mentioned the romance, then I thought 4*. You split the difference :-P I haven't read book one, but I want to now after seeing your excitement for the series. If a book has the potential to make you want to damage it, it's gotta be doing something right!

  11. It is so stinking awesome when a sequel lives up to the great name of the first book. And from everything that I have seen, and the reviews that I have read, this one absolutely did! And I am looking forward to finally reading them both!

  12. I really love both covers, but kinda leaning toward the first one, just 'cause of the colors on that one.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  13. Zero romance? No problem as long as it has thrilling plot. Actually I haven't read book 1 but from the book 2 review above it sounds promising. I'll give it a try.

    There is a map!!!

  14. This is one of my favorite books, despite being one of the most frustrating books I've ever read. THE ENDING!!


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