The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)
By Marie Rutkowski
Summary: 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.
Source: I borrowed a Kindle copy from the library
Everyone raved about this trilogy and I enjoyed book one, but I wasn’t completely sold on this story just yet. The Winner’s Crime was almost like a totally different story as Kestrel was set to marry the emperor’s son and she attempted to stay in her place, ensure Arin was able to keep Herran as the independent territory, and spy for Herran.
Here’s the thing. I like the plot, I like the idea of this whole game being played and Kestrel trying to balance both sides as a strategist. But I still just feel like something is missing, things are kind of glossed over, and it’s just way too easy for Kestrel to succeed. And when she doesn’t or other people don’t, people die, and it still doesn’t even feel like it’s dangerous. I don’t know. I’m just missing a crucial piece here and I can’t seem to really care about the characters because I don’t really know them. I just felt like I was watching a show that everyone else has been watching for seasons and I just don’t know who any of these characters are supposed to be.
It seems like I’m in the minority for not liking this book. I needed the story to not switch gears so much and start doing some more character development. The walking-on-eggshells in the court to stay under the emperors radar would have been so much more satisfying if I was more involved with who the characters were. The fact that the events in the first book happened so quickly just made me skeptical about everything involving the political plot.
Honestly, I think maybe it’s me. For some reason, I’m not connecting the way I feel like I should’ve and I’m not quite certain why it fell so flat for me.