Sunday, 15 March 2015

Book Review | The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski.

"Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust.

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy." (synopsis and cover from (x)

Oh boy. This book guys. Rutkoski sucked me right back into the world. So, so good.

At the end of The Winner's Curse, Kestrel sacrificed her freedom to save Arin and his country. In The Winner's Crime, she's walking the fine line of politics and espionage.

This book is good, guys. Marie Rutkoski has upped the stakes in every way and it just stuns me how well she's pulled it off.

Kestrel, for one. She really comes into her own in this novel. In the first book, she had a few stumbles. She was an amateur in the real life version of Bite & Sting. In The Winner's Crime however, Kestrel has learnt from her mistakes and become ten times smarter. She grew into everything I'd hoped she would be. It's fantastic.

In fact, I'd say that all of the characters really come into their own in The Winner's Crime. Arin has had to mature and quickly. He is stuck. Which takes priority: his country or his heart? For him, this novel is one of a balancing act, with one ultimately losing out.

The political intrigue, the manipulation, the games that are played, emit from the characters. It's a highlight of the novel for me.

Rutkoski continues to do a wonderful job at world-building. A large portion of the novel takes place in Valoria and she does a fantastic job at creating an entirely new culture. The hustle and bustle of the city is really well-done, and makes for an unputdownable read. I tried to put it down, multiple times, and I couldn't do it.

And the writing. What can I say about the writing that hasn't already been said? It's lethal elegance matched the tone of the novel to a tee. There was a lyrical quality that made me want to cry. Rutkoski is one of my favourite authors stylistically, and she certainly didn't disappoint.

If there was any negative, it'd have to be that cliffhanger. Amiright? It shredded my heart to pieces and I don't know how I'm going to be able to cope for another year.

'Wow' is the only word that comes to mind with this book. Trust me when I say it will not disappoint. 4.5 stars.

Rating: ****.5 (4.5 stars)
Publication Date: March 12th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia

Do you want to buy the book? Here are some places you can get it:
Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC

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