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The Winner's Crime.


The Winner's Crime

By Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkosi, a professor at Brooklyn College, is the author of the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles (starting with 2008's The Cabinet of Wonders). The Winner's Crime is the second volume in The Winner's Trilogy, which started with The Winner's Curse (2014).

THE STORY: In The Winner's Curse, 17-year-old Kestrel, a pampered general's daughter from Valoria, a warrior society facing impending revolution, falls in love with Arin, a poor slave from the Herrani people--Kestrel's property, no less. Both face insurmountable obstacles in their quest for love. But in The Winner's Crime, Kestrel, who is working as a spy for Herran in the court, hasn't yet admitted to Arin that in exchange for his freedom, she's agreed to marry Valoria's crown prince. Meanwhile, Arin, who is now the leader of the Herran and working with dangerous allies, suspects that Kestrel is hiding something.

As Arin tries to save his people and Kestrel hers, the two embark on a very dangerous path--both for love and for their countries.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $17.99. ISBN: 9780374384708

Between My Lines (blog) ****

"I love how rich in detail the world building is and even more than that I adore the political manoeuvring. ... There is a gruesome torture scene that turned my stomach and woke me up fully to what a dangerous world Kestrel and Arin are tiptoeing around in."

Book Munchies (blog) ****

"Kestrel is still a brilliant strategist but at times she really frustrated me with her deceit. ... With more marvelous world building in this installment and a darker tone, the sequel delves deeper into the political intrigue that Kestrel and Arin have become embroiled in."

Fictitious Delicious ****

"I loved The Winner's Curse so much that I was convinced nothing else could ever compare to it. I'd say that this installment wasn't quite as good as the first, which means it's merely spectacular. ... The political maneuvering in the first half is what felt slow for me."

Thoughts by J (blog) ****

"Crime takes a step back from the romance and it's a much better book for it. In its stead is broader world building as the eastern area of Dacra is explored and we also find out what is situated in the north of Valoria."

YA Book Queen (blog) ****

"[As] always, Rutkoski's writing is stunning and evocative, bringing each character, location, and emotion to life in the most vivid way possible. ... A compelling and emotional sequel, The Winner's Crime will leave you heartbroken, shocked, and so very eager for the final installment. Lea


Those who read The Winner's Curse greatly anticipated the second volume in Rutkoski's planned trilogy, and The Winner's Crime does more than live up to expectations. Sure, it differs markedly from the first novel with its focus on court intrigue, war tactics, and power struggles rather than the tortured love story between Kestrel and Arin, who remain apart for much of the book. In fact, Rutkoski takes a step back that romance, which burns slower here than in The Winner's Curse, though readers still gain a sense of the lovers' emotions and motives. The rich world building that earned Rutkoski praise is still evident, and her new characters (and the eastern kingdom) captivate. Fast paced, elegantly written, intensely emotional, and ending on yet another cliffhanger, The Winner's Crime will leave readers anxious for the final installment of the trilogy.


***** CLASSIC A timeless book to be read by all

**** EXCELLENT One of the best of its genre

*** GOOD Enjoyable, particularly for fans of the genre

** FAIR Some problems, approach with caution

* POOR Not worth your time
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Date:May 1, 2015
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