The Winner's Crime

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy) - Marie Rutkoski

Since this is a sequel this is going to have spoilers for book one. Also this has some things that border on spoiler territory so precede with caution. 

 

 

Book two of the Winner's follows Kestral around the Capital dealing with being engaged to Verex. This book is painful and heart wrenching but in the way a good book is. So often I found myself really frustrated with the characters but all their actions made sense. The political side of things ramps up in this book and with that comes a lot of lies and miscommunications (also after the end of the last book obviously the lies and miscommunication is going to continue). Unlike a lot of books that deal with miscommunication I didn't want to shout "USE YOUR WORDS!!!". I like the way Rutkoski writes, it had a way of put us into the political chess game and feeling it. I liked this book more than the first book because I found a lot of the first book rather predictable whereas this one had me wandering what was going to happen next feeling more unsure about everything. 

 

In my review for the first book I mentioned that the relationship at times felt Stockholm'sish. I read an interview with Rutkoski and she noted right off the bat (and in better words than I) that she wanted to look into the "damage of asymmetrical power" . I'm really glad that Rutkoski didn't just let that go in this book. I think we often see really problematic relationships swept under the rug especially in YA, and to see that impacting the characters in this book was really nice.

 

Okay, Tensen is so freaking reckless like, what did you think was in that letter. Weren't you in a furnace room, or near a torch if you weren't going to give it to him.

 

I loved how the Jess story line played out. It was sad but it made so much since and I would have really hated for her to just be running around with her head as up in the clouds as it was in book one oblivious to everything going on with Kestral.

 

I hated the Queen of the East kissing Arin. We just avoided a love triangle with Kestral I don't need one with Arin thanks.

 

The Emperor is such shit I hope Kestral and Verex takes him down. And sweet bby Verex, he is such a sweet friend and his knowledge of his own pawn status but still wanting to make a change, oh sweet angel I hope his love story is a happy one.

 

THE FUCKING GENERAL ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?! like what the fuck is wrong with this guy, but the worst part is that it doesn't even seem out of character, Like what kind of fucked up parent are you that betraying your kid doesn't even seem out of character. Part of me wants this to be fixed in the next book but another part of me just wants Kestral to cut this toxic man out of her life.  And the end scene with her giving the man a moth. AHHHHh I Need Winner's Kiss. How is this all going to wrap up. Even if Verex can bring his love into an alliance between countries the Velorian wouldn't stand for that even if (when?) Kestral and Arin come together. I mean we see how the feel about the Herran people now so yeah.... I really don't know.

(show spoiler)