The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publication date: March 12th 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (2#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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Review:

There may be spoilers for the previous book…

Clever, dazzling and intricately woven, Marie Rutkoski stuns again with The Winner’s Crime. Now, Kestrel has to tread more carefully than ever.

The first and foremost thing I love about these books is Kestrel. She’s witty, brave and generally quite awesome. I love the way that she doesn’t have to be a supreme physical fighter to kick butt, but rather she wields her skill with strategising and her intelligence. It’s pretty great that she can still be such a strong heroine while not being a Katniss (The Hunger Games) or Tris (Divergent) in the way that there is less emphasis on physical fighting. Not that emphasis on physical fighting is a bad thing, I’m just saying that I like that it’s something a little different for me.

I’m guessing that if you read the above paragraph you won’t be very surprised that I preferred the parts of the text that were centered around Kestel (or Kestrel and Arin) rather than just Arin. Even in the last book I wasn’t a major supporter of Team Arin. He just falls kind of flat for me and I don’t a) find him particularly interesting, or b) like him that much. I find that he can be a little bit too moody and he just doesn’t really jump out at me.

I love the game that the characters are playing. The book so wonderfully shows the consequences of the actions of the characters and it’s all so carefully and cleverly plotted. It’s just so unpredictable that you really don’t know what move the characters are going to play next and what’s going to happen. And yet I feel like I know the characters so well.

…And I’m about to contradict myself. I did see the ending coming. But I didn’t mind so much because I was unsure and it did still hit pretty hard. One scene in particular towards the end between Kestrel and another character was really painful.

But enough about the sad scenes – because PUPPY! If there is a cute puppy in any book then I can just about promise you that I will love the book. Dogs are the best thing ever (sorry cat lovers) and they are the most cutest, loyalist creatures. AND PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE.

These books have made me really interested in playing the game Kestrel plays in the book: Bite & Sting. It sounds so cool and I’d love to know what it’s based off. So if you know…please do share.

I did feel very sorry for Verex though. To be honest I wouldn’t even have minded if Kestrel’s love switched to Verex rather than Arin. And I could not stand Jess in this book. I don’t really sympathise with her whatsoever.

All in all, I thought that this was a stunning sequel that actually surpassed The Winner’s Curse in my opinion. If you loved the first book, you will love this one.

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent (one little flaw). 

Add The Winner’s Crime to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier…

The Winner’s Crime inspired outfit!

Please forgive the picture, I’m working on another one 🙂

I just can’t believe how long it’s been since I last did a Trendy Thursdays post…

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

I would have done the Aussie cover but I much prefer the US edition…

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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The dress:Appliques Navy Blue Ball Gown Taffeta Quinceanera Gown (source)

Hairstyle:  (source)

Makeup: permanent makeup, clean, pure, pretty make up (source)

Nails: Dark blue glitter nails (source)

Shoes: dark blue high-heeled shoes with brilliant stones (source)

Review: The Winner’s Curse

I wasn’t originally going to post my review of The Winner’s Curse but since I will be posting a review of the sequel soon, I thought that I ought to. You see, I read The Winner’s Curse on holiday and reviews written then were rushed as I was, well, on holiday.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

Publication date: March 4th 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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Review:

This is an unbelievably difficult review to write. All my thoughts seem to have blurred into one. ButAlasIWillWriteThisAnyway.

The first and foremost thing I loved about The Winner’s Curse was the main theme: the winner’s curse. I haven’t ever really heard that theme/saying before, but maybe something similar. I loved how it was referred to at a fairly constant rate throughout the novel.

The second thing that I really liked was Kestrel herself. She was super smart and certainly knew how to strategise. And for once it was nice to read about some teen prodigy/kick-butt heroine who fought with brains rather than brawn. She knew what she wanted and figured out how to get there.

I also loved the way that the whole story was like a game the characters were playing. You don’t know what the characters (and funnily enough, Kestrel) are planning to do and what their alterior motives are.

And it is ridiculously cool that this is based on the ‘dynamic between the Romans and the Greeks’. I love that history period and I especially appreciate the way that the author tackled it. She did a brilliant job.

However, I was not a total fan of Arin. I understand why he was so grumpy all the time but it really got to me. I can’t really say that I ‘ship’ him and Kestel. I liked him more towards the end a lot more though. I did (weirdly) like how his relationship with Kestrel complicated the story.

I definitely would love to read a sequel. I have. I have this prediction that Kestrel will be wearing a blue dress on the next cover.

**EDIT** – Totally called it!

I would definitely recommend it!

4.5/5 comets

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent (one little flaw).

Add The Winner’s Curse to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier…