The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury (Released 12th March 2015)
Format: ARC E-Book
Series: The Winner’s Curse (#1)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
I am extremely pleased that this sequel has the same rating as the debut. It’s not often this happens, but I thought that Marie Rutkoski’s world was better developed, the plot was made clear and my level of enjoyment was continuous throughout.
Whereas ‘The Winner’s Curse’ struggled to fit into either the fantasy or historical genre, ‘The Winner’s Crime’ makes the firm move towards high fantasy. Like a soft core version of Game of Thrones, with less death. Kestrel’s position as a political pawn is enhanced, and we get to see a lot of the decisions being made from the drawing board, as it were, rather than the battlefield. I think that’s what makes these books so interesting. Instead of being just a player in the game, Kestrel gets to control the outcomes….well some of them. I doubt, if given the choice, that she’d want an arranged marriage.
Arin and Kestrel’s relationship definitely developed throughout this novel. They were apart for the majority of the book, however, the scenes were they were together were ripe with tension and longing. My greatest hope is that it works out for them all in the end.
‘The Winner’s Crime’ definitely takes itself seriously as a book about a waring empire. There’s brutal torturing, that Kestrel and the reader get to witness (quite stomach turning), fires, starvation, murders. Although Kestrel is living the life of a high member of society, she is not unaware of the suffering that goes on about her world.
I absolutely adore how poetic and beautiful the writing style can be. The metaphors and similes do not feel forced, but original and apt for the situation in which this are used. Again, this book is third person perspective, but you feel so close to the characters, its like you’re inside their heads.
Overall, this is a very successful sequel. I can’t wait for the final instalment in the trilogy, the ending left me desiring more and more. (It doesn’t help that both Arin and Kestrel were left in such difficult positions. How do they cope? How do they survive?!) ‘The Winner’s Trilogy’ has easily made it to my list of favourite books. Definitely would recommend to all.