Book Review: The Winner’s Crime – Marie Rutkoski

Last time I wrote the review for Winner’s Curse, I was slow on book blog schedule.

This time I’m slow on reading schedule.



Name: The Winner’s Crime
Author: Marie Rutokski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR),
Bloomsbury (my edition)
Release Date: March 3, 2015; March 12, 2015 (Bloomsbury)


Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy

Book Cover Comments

I still love the interaction of the blade with the logo. And honestly it’s annoying how there’s a difference between the hardback and the paperback, because one’s dress is blue, and the other’s red, but I buy paperback but I love blue :((

The other thing I’m gonna complain about, is that the dress doesn’t flow onto the spine, but the other two books in the series does, as well as the fact that for unknown reasons or probs sake of extra aesthetics, that the words are in gold and not silver. Not unified. Ok.

The Actual Review



“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

Honestly though Marie Rutkoski really loves putting readers through insane book ending cliffhangers. I’m not kidding. This one was worse than the previous one.

This time, we direct our focus away from the city of Herran, and mostly at where Kestrel is right now: the fiancé of Prince Verex of Valoria. I absolutely love everything going on inside the palace. It’s crazy. All the gossips, the spies, who’s reporting to who, and what role Kestrel plays in this entire web of complication.

For your information, I hate the King of Valoria. He’s a total jerk, I was looking for a fool when I found him. (Shakespeare Reference!) Not only is he not satisfied when things don’t go his way, he immediately takes action to keep things in his pace, his order, whatsoever. But I give credits to this villain. Because his way of thinking is as peculiar as Kestrel’s, and how he plays the games of the court? How he uses those who are close to Kestrel to threaten her?

Arin hadn’t fallen asleep on the deck of his strangely still ship, yet, it felt as if he’d been dreaming. As if dreams and memories and lies were the same thing.

But honestly I hate dad Kestrel as much as I hate King. He’s an eggplant. Honestly though. An even larger eggplant than the King is. For what reason I won’t say, but he’s honestly the worse dad on Earth. I don’t even understand why Kestrel still continues to care for him. Fine I get it. It is her father, but still! You were right Arin, you were right to try to show Kestrel how big of an eggplant her father is.

Ok enough talk of the villainy in this story. Next topic: plot.

Plot twists? Like What??????!?!?!?!? There are so many plot reveals going on in this book, relationships mending and breaking apart, I can’t even imagine. When cities begin to corrupt due to some mysterious thingy-majig, and relationships corrupt due to the lack of trust between and the lies going on, oh, boy, gods.

There was dishonor, she decided, in accepting someone else’s idea of honor without question.

Then there’s the burning romance that pulls out your heart and throws it through Earth every time Kestrel thinks of Arin or Arin thinks of Kestrel or when they have interaction. I don’t even know why the romance in this books resonates with me like that so much. All I know is that its to die for.

“She turned to look at him, and he was already looking at her. “I’m going to miss you when I wake up,” she whispered, because she realized that she must have fallen asleep under the sun. Arin was too real for her imagination. He was a dream.
“Don’t wake up,” he said.”

But in the end, Kestrel and Arin were being a bit of an eggplant as well. But they have their reasons: because they try to protect the one they love the most.

“Marry him,” Arin said, “but be mine in secret.”


Just spoiled you didn’t I.


She’d felt it before, she felt it now: the pull to fall in with him, to fall into him, to lose her sense of self.

Worse book review writer in history.
In fact, today’s writing is so bad simply because

  1.  I’m stressed about my Photoshop Trial being over. Stupid Adobe. Why can’t we just have a permanent Photoshop
  2. I have to wake up at 7:15m and it’s 12:24am
  3. I have vague memory of this book despite reading it earlier this week
    1. maybe because I’m reading the Winner’s Kiss right now, aka right after Crime.

Alright enough with the BS.

Let’s sum it up!

Plot twists + eggplants(n) + revelations + romance = The Winner’s Crime.

*takes a bow*

*runs away to evade bananas and eggs thrown at me*

So yea.

Obviously everything about my opinion on this book is unclear. Feel free to comment below and ask a question!

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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