The Winners Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winners 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. (Goodreads)

This book basically took me forever to finish. I was really into it at the beginning and then the book just got boring and went downhill from there. The end captured my attention once again – but to get there I had to wade through the rest of the waffle!

Like I just mentioned, I really enjoyed the beginning of the book – it was a page turner and I was glued. I loved the characters and the events that were unfolding. I am not sure at what point, but this book took a downturn. I found myself struggling to actually pic up the book and read it and I started binge watching tv shows instead of actually reading the book.

I didn’t ship Kestrel and Arin and I didn’t ship Kestrel and Vertex. For me, both romances were fairly dull and there was no meat to them. I know I should probably at least ship Arin and Kestrel – but they were dull together and I didn’t get those all important feels whilst reading there interactions or even when reading the times that they were thinking about each other! I was just bored. That I wasn’t going to ship Kestrel and Vertex was pretty much a given. It was pretty much a forced engagement, which had no feels (obviously!!).

I also found Kestrel fairly irritating. I am not exactly sure why, she didn’t really do that much wrong. I just feel like her character was missing that all important relatability that just ruined it for me. She was very much a bleugh character who really could have done with some character building!

As I mentioned earlier, this book recaptured my attention at the end when everything escalated! I was glued to about the last 20 pages and I just couldn’t put it down. I was shocked and miffed at her father – I understand loyalty to your country, but how could you do that to your daughter?? I felt really sorry for Kestrel, but I have a feeling that this series is going to end a certain way – it always gets worse before it gets better!

For a series that gripped me from the beginning, I was really disappointed with this book. I feel like the author blundered through the middle part of the book and only had a stroke of genius at the beginning and the end! I gave this book 2/5 stars.