- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: HL610L (What's this?)
- Series: The Winner's Trilogy (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (March 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374384703
- ISBN-13: 978-0374384708
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy) Hardcover – March 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A romantic's romance novel, this second volume in Rutkoski's saga picks up where The Winner's Curse (2013) ended. Kestrel, a member of the Valorian ruling class, is engaged and will one day rule the empire. Meanwhile, Arin, Kestrel's former slave, is the leader of the Herrani people, and his subjects are starving thanks to the emperor's taxes. Kestrel is torn between her need to help Arin and her loyalty to her father, a general in the imperial army. Arin, in turn, is unraveled by his uncertainties: Is the woman he loves a power-hungry liar, or is she the spy who is supplying treasonous information that might just help him save his people? Some of Arin and Kestrel's misunderstandings and missed opportunities are more histrionic than wildly romantic, and though the plot is saturated with sword fights, subterfuge, and glittering parties, it isn't suspenseful as the previous entry. Poetic passages demonstrate the depth of Rutkoski's research and talent. "It suddenly seemed that Kestrel had been an empty room, and that all of her wishes came crowding in. They thronged: delicate, full-skirted, their silk brushing up against each other." The ending finds the protagonists again divided and facing life-threatening dilemmas, each thinking of the other. The last sentence resonates so strongly that it might just be enough to sustain fans until the first line of the final volume.—Chelsey Philpot, Boston University, MA
“The cliffhanger ending of this second installment guarantees an anxious audience for the arrival of the third book.” ―BCCB
“Rutkoski's well-written prose is sumptuous . . . The shocking ending will leave readers hungry for the sequel.” ―VOYA
“The Winner's Crime teeters on a knife-sharp edge between devastatingly romantic one moment and simply devastating the next. Marie Rutkoski has captivated me with her world of mind games, power struggles, and espionage, and left me positively desperate to see how Kestrel and Arin's story will play out.” ―Marissa Meyer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles series
“Brilliant plotting and absolutely gorgeous writing combine to make The Winner's Crime a standout, but it is the complex, deeply layered characters with their gut wrenching dilemmas and impossible choices that cracked my heart wide open. It left me breathless and craving more--I don't know how I will be able to wait for the final book. A truly unforgettable read!” ―Robin LaFevers, New York Times–bestselling author of Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph
“The twisty plot is a cleverly constructed puzzle box of intrigue and deceit, couched in graceful prose that shifts from restrained to voluptuous. The diversity both between and within the various cultures suggests a richly detailed world; yet as the fate of peoples, kingdoms and empires hangs in the balance, the conflict plays out at the most intimate personal level in the reluctant, dangerous, impossible attraction between Kestrel and Arin . . . As positions harden and blood is shed, their destruction at each other's hands looms ever more certain; but a desperate hope that somehow disaster can be averted propels readers to the final devastating page, leaving only the excruciating wait for the sequel. Enthralling, agonizing and incandescent.” ―Starred review/Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
The development of the plot was interesting, but as with many YA fantasies, I feel that it lacked the subtle development more commonly found in adult fantasy. Kestrel’s spying skills felt woefully inadequate considering that she was up against an emperor with years of experience in the art of manipulation. I knew she was going to get caught from the first awkward encounters that seemed so blatantly obvious to my reader’s eyes. Kestrel may have thought she was skilled at subterfuge, but her confidence was misplaced. Had she truly been clever she would have become closer to the prince or knifed the emperor at dinner. Not that mealtime regicide requires cleverness, but it would have taken Kestrel’s most devious enemy off the Bite & Sting playing field. I felt the prince was largely ignored as a potential ally or enemy- he felt extraneous and I was disappointed by this. Arin was playing his own hand of cards and simultaneously pining over Kestrel and loathing her, which displayed his ignorance of her character.
Though I just spent a whole paragraph fussing about what the characters should have done, I must confess that I still think they’re great. This is one of my new favorite YA fantasy series and it’s just incredibly engaging. I’ve had trouble putting these down and neglect my household responsibilities while reading. One of the best parts is that the most devastating betrayals in this installment come from where you least expect it. Rutkoski really threw me off with the last one and I always appreciate a good surprise!
I can’t recommend this series enough for fans of YA fantasy! If you haven’t read it yet, check it out because it’s so good. If you have, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought! Did I mention that The Melting Library has a Bite & Sting candle that sounds like it smells divine? It’s on my ever growing list of bookish candles that I want!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's missing from book 2 that was present in book 1:
-Intelligent, proactive...Read more