Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on March 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: The Winner's Curse
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
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.
A taste of what is in store for readers
– dungeons and torture
– spies, secret codes and conspiracies
– court finery, intrigue and political maneuvering
– gambling, betting, some even involving a certain fancy dress
– unexpected friends and kindness
– betrayal and of course heartache
– a closer look at court life of Kestrel’s countrymen
While this book was an enjoyable read to see how things are progressing for both characters and their countries I wasn’t as invested in it as I was the first one. This might have been because I’m not a big fan of court intrigue. Or perhaps it’s that Kestrel and Arin spent much of the book separated. But what I really think it boiled down to is that I’m not a fan of people agonizing over each other especially when it’s due to them keeping each other in the dark about things. But I know many readers love that sort of dynamic in their romance reading.
The second main focus here was the political maneuvering trust both Kestrel and Arin do. Got their own regions buy ultimately both for Harran. Though I’m not usually a fan of such plot threads in my reading it was really well done and I think I have an idea of where things are headed for them but still no idea how things are going to work out on a larger scale. I like that the book took place in two different countries other than Harran so it gave me a broader look at the world. It makes me excited to read the last book.
As most readers probably expected The Winner’s Crime ends on a but of a cliffhanger. Luckily for me it wasn’t the type of scenario that leaves me gnashing my teeth and angry that I have to wait for the next book. Instead we are left in a place full of tension but one that is a perfect fit because it begins the next chapter in Kestrel’s life.
A note on the audio version
I both read and listened to The Winner’s Crime back and forth and found that I definitely preferred reading in print over the audio. It might be because I only read the print version of The first book. However I found I wasn’t fond of the accents that were used. The narration was still really great but I can be rather particular when it comes to applying accents to a fantasy world. Definitely give the sample a listen if you’re considering this title on audio.
The Winner’s Crime Blog Tour
The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price. What would you pay too much for?
That is such a hard question. I think a standard answer that immediately pipes to mind would be my family. On a more selfish note I would totally pay too much for art or more artistic talent for myself. Endless motivation would be nice too lol.
Play ‘Bite and Sting,’ the game in the book, Here