The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

 

The Herrani believed that a god ruled not just one thing, but a whole domain of associated ideas, actions, objects. The god of stars was the god of stars, yes, but also of accidents, beauty, and disasters. The god of souls … Kestrel’s throat closed as she remembered Arin invoking that god, who ruled love. My soul is yours, he had said. You know that it is. His expression had been so open, so true. Frightened, even, of what he was saying. And she had been frightened, too, by how he had spoken what she felt. It frightened her still. The coin. Kestrel forced her attention again to the coin.

Kestrel is forced to keep her love a secret in order to protect the one she loves… but the more she lies to keep him safe, the closer she is to losing him

Kestrel didn’t miss his message. She wasn’t blind to the way he had indicated that their conversation could be overheard, nor was she deaf to his coded invitation that they could speak more freely in his guest suite. But she struggled against the pain in her throat, and said only, “Your ride here was hard?” “Yes.” “And the snow. It’s falling already?” “Yes, my lady.” “The mountain pass will close.” “Yes,” Tensen said gently, and he saw too much. Kestrel could tell that he heard that horrible note in her voice, and that he recognized it as the sound of someone fighting tears. “As expected,” he added. But she hadn’t expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What good would it have done? None. Apparently Arin knew this, too. He knew it better than she, or his hope would have been equal to hers, and would have driven him here. Kestrel drew herself up straight. “You can find your rooms by yourself, Minister Tensen. I have more important matters to attend to.” She strode from the hall. The veined marble floor was icy beneath her feet: a frozen lake with fractures she did not care to see. She walked, she did not care. She did not.

The chances she takes to insure Arin’s safety are becoming more and more dangerous.

The chances he takes to understand Kestrel’s choices are pushing them farther and farther apart.

Chances are taken, lives are lost, and choices are made… and they don’t always turn out for the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really love the way the author is able to draw me into this series, she created this new world and I love that I’m able to picture it so clearly. I have to say that the first book in this series was great and this installation kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I was definitely in a lot of inner turmoil throughout this book as well. Basically Kestrel’s lies and Arin insecurities were KILLING me! I mean I understood where they were coming from but, because I knew everything that had happened I was tortured by their actions (because they didn’t know what I did). Don’t think you will get any closure at all by the end of this book, because if you read the first book you know that this author likes to end on a CLIFFHANGER and this book is no different.

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The Winner’s Curse (Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

 

Kestrel drew in a shaky breath. Her bones felt watery. What had she done? Jess slipped a supporting hand under her elbow. “You are sick.” “And rather light of purse, I’d say.” The pointy-chinned woman snickered. “Looks like someone’s suffering the Winner’s Curse.” Kestrel turned to her. “What do you mean?” “You don’t come to auctions often, do you? The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”

Kestrel has just won at auction, what she doesn’t know is that her prize may cause her more trouble than it’s worth…

There was a rustle and the auctioneer returned. The slave walked behind. He lifted his gaze to meet Kestrel’s. His eyes were a clear, cool gray. They startled her. Yet she should have expected to see this color in a Herrani, and Kestrel thought it must be the livid bruise on his cheek that made the expression in his eyes so uncanny. Still, she grew uncomfortable under his gaze. Then his lashes fell. He looked at the ground, letting long hair obscure his face. One side was still swollen from the fight, or beating.

 

I give this book 4.2 out of 5 stars. I really liked this book because not only was it really interesting, but it was also pretty unpredictable. My favorite character was definitely Kestrel because she fought for what she believed in, wasn’t afraid to make sacrifices and she is wicked smart.  The setting that the author created was very vivid and she was really able to make me connect with the characters. When someone would insult Kestrel or Arin I would get angry or when something crazy happened I would freak out(read: start screaming at characters). I love the relationship between the characters and found myself depressed at times when they would do something that would end up pulling them apart. I really enjoyed this book and even though it is YA, it was still relate able to me (probably because she wasn’t just an angst-y high schooler).  I must worn you that this is the first book in a trilogy, so read at your own risk!