Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski & Blog Tour Giveaway

March 16, 2015 3.5 stars, Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway 9 ★★★½

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski & Blog Tour GiveawayThe Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on March 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Length: 10 hours
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Source: Publisher
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.


The Winner’s Crime is the second installment in this trilogy and heavily features Kestrel’s new life at court and all of the intrigue that comes along with it. However, the main focus of these books is still the romance between her and Arin. Which continues to be just as full of tension, if not more so then the first book. Readers that love tormented romances and seeing characters face insurmountable odds will likely gobble this one up.

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

WinnersCurse BlogTour

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.

Visit the other stops on the tour

Play ‘Bite and Sting,’ the game in the book, Here 

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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9 Responses to “Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski & Blog Tour Giveaway”

  1. Kaitlyn Abshire

    I love how you set up your review! I really can’t wait to read this one!

  2. Samantha @ Fabulous Fabris

    I quite enjoyed the first book and am excited to read this one. I think you’re the first person I’ve seen who hasn’t loved this one as much as the first, but I’m glad to hear you still enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂
    Samantha @ Fabulous Fabris recently posted…Underwater WorldMy Profile

  3. Jacqueline Onyon

    I really enjoyed The Winner’s Curse and have been looking forward to the Winner’s Crime. Very curious to see where this one goes. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  4. Melliane

    Sorry it wasn’t it wasn’t as good for you with this one but I understand, it’s quite different… I really enjoyed it but in a way I prefered book 1 too. In any case this one was so intense!!! thanks for the review!
    Melliane recently posted…Fire by Kristin CashoreMy Profile

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’m sorry that this one didn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor for you. I actually still need to read Winner’s Curse and hopefully it will be one of my very next reads. I don’t mind court intrigue so maybe I’ll have better luck with this one than you did…I still was curious to see how you made out with it since sequels can be hit or miss for me. Thanks for the lovely review Tabitha^^ xx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #14My Profile