Review of The Winner's Crime

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.
After finished The Winner’s Curse and not having all the feels that everyone else did, I felt like a bit of a pariah. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Winner’s Curse, so I decided to continue with the story. I was so glad that I did continue with the series because I really enjoyed The Winner’s Curse.
  • This book gave me the feels. I really felt for Kestrel and Arin. What a horrible situation. The sacrifices you make for love, oh man. It was just so unfair. Plus, I really felt bad for the prince to just be stuck in the middle of the whole thing. No one was happy and no one was getting what they wanted. Everyone was lying and pretending, all of the same reasons, without realizing it.
  • If there has ever been a character I want to see die in the most painful way, it is the emperor. Argh, I was so frustrated by him throughout the whole book. I just wanted to see him get his just dessert, hopefully sometime soon.
  • Arin made me swoon in this book. I can imagine how Kestrel’s heart just raced and pulsed when he came to her at the ball. It would have to be so hard to avoid his advance and not want to throw in the towel just to be with him, even if it meant both of them giving up everything.
  • I really wanted this one to be a movie. I could just imagine what the around Arin looked like when he went to speak with the Queen. I envisioned a whole Game of Thrones situation with Khalessi. I would have loved to get a story from the Queen’s POV too. Maybe there will be a novella.
  • Sometimes Kestrel was just so immature. I know that she just turned 18, but there was a few times in the book where I felt like she was throwing a temper tantrum. I just kinda wanted to smack her and be like, look, you made these choices; you have the knowledge and intelligence, figure it out. 
  • I so badly wanted someone to tell the truth. I was almost screaming at my book, “Just go to tell, just tell him the truth.” Phooey – I guess it will just make me continue with the series.


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  1. I recently finished this too, and I was so mad at them for lying all the time. Everyone lies. It drove me crazy. And Arin is waaay too easily swayed. She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not...

  2. I just finished this book too and now I'm reading An Ember in the Ashes. I feel like this series is getting me giddy like the Throne of Glass series did. I absolutely lovee Arin no matter what anyone says. He just so gentle with her and although what happened in the middle of this book when he was kind of confused about what Kestrel did, he didn't give up on her in the end. Now I'm just dying to know what happens next. GAHHH I need more Arin. Kestrel was quite annoying in the second book. I MEAN CONFESS UR DYING LOVE FOR ARIN ALREADY OR I WILL.. I told u I was giddy :P

    Awesome review!!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  3. That's what's frustrating but great about this book though, that no one tells anyone how they feel. I am so glad you carried on with the series and loved it. I'm so excited for the final book, it's going to be goooooood!!

  4. I hope the second book is better than the first, I liked The Winner's Curse but it just annoyed me until the second half. I do love Arin though! <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  5. Oh I really enjoyed this one but wow it was really intense!!! Many things I didn't expect and now I'm so curious for more.

  6. I still haven't started this series and, honestly, I'm not sure I will. I'm not a huge fan of political drama and court intrigue, and I get really ticked off by conflicts that could easily be solved with a little honest communication--at least, if it's surrounded by angst. If you decide not to tell the guy anything, fine, but no whining about how he doesn't understand you. :)

  7. I want to start this series at some point. I just hope it's not one of those overly hyped series. Great review :)

  8. AHH! I want this book and your review isn't helping my wait any! Now I have all these theories and wishes...and a ball swoonworthy moment? I need this buying ban to be over so I can get it asap.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

  9. I have this series in my TBR list and I can't wait to read it.I am a huge fan of books about princesses and queens and all the drama of court and royalty.I hope I can get my hands on a copy soon.

  10. I didn't read your review because I still haven't gotten my butt around to reading this. Even though I also got an ARC forever ago. But I thoroughly enjoyed The Winner's Crime, so hopefully Curse is even better. Especially since you seemed to like it more than Crime.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.