Book Review 33 - The Winners Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Pages: 416
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication date: March 3, 2015
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.
My thoughts:
I genuinely enjoyed this book... that is until the last 10% of it. 
The Winners Crime continues off where the first one ended, Kestrel is at the palace getting ready for her marriage to the prince, and Arin is in Herran living with his people who are now free. 
I liked the plot of this book. The capital city was just as "dirty" as I pictured it being, and the emperor was even worse than I imagined he would be. My one problem was I found this book a tad repetitive and tedious. Much of the book is Arin and Kestrel arguing and keeping secrets from one another. A lot of the same scenarios or scenes that happen frequently, just with different purposes. With Arin and Kestrel there is absolutely no communication between these two and it is difficult to imagine that they are both in their late teens/early twenties because they are so childish and handle things terribly. 
I absolutely adored the writing in this book. Rutkoski is so good with words that she makes a story flow in ways I haven't experienced before. 
I also enjoy that her characters have colour. They each have their own distinct personality and voice and no character is like any other.
But the ending of this book is where I had problems. I was hoping for some sort of resolution to the conflict. A way for Arin to finally come to realize all that Kestrel did for him. I would have much rathered it ending the same way, but that the treasonous act Kestrel committed as having been telling Arin the truth. I just feel like readers were given so much tension and turmoil in the book with absolutely no solution. In fact the middle of the book and the end of the book are nearly the same, Arin leaving thinking he has all the answers figured out. I HAD hoped for SOME explanation as to what would happen to the prince in the end. It is mentioned it would seem as though they went South, but there was no explanation about Verex at all. I hoped for a little more resolution between the characters by the end of the book instead of more dramatics, but I suppose I will have to wait for the final book of the trilogy for that.


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