THE WINNER'S CRIME by Marie Rutkoski
Kirkus Star


From the "Winner's Trilogy" series, volume 2
Age Range: 12 & up
Email this review


The middle entry in a fantasy trilogy brings new players to the game while exponentially raising the stakes.    

Lady Kestrel has successfully bargained for limited independence for the Herrani people, but only at the price of her own freedom. Now betrothed to the feckless Imperial heir, she risks even more as a spy, while managing to convince everyone—most particularly Arin, once her slave, then her captor, now governor of Herran—of her ruthless devotion to tyrannical Valorian dominion. The twisty plot is a cleverly constructed puzzle box of intrigue and deceit, couched in graceful prose that shifts from restrained to voluptuous. The diversity both between and within the various cultures suggests a richly detailed world; yet as the fate of peoples, kingdoms and empires hangs in the balance, the conflict plays out at the most intimate personal level in the reluctant, dangerous, impossible attraction between Kestrel and Arin. Her ferocious intelligence and his blazing integrity demand sympathy and allegiance even when the intense yearning, distrust, rejections and betrayals become almost too painful to bear. As positions harden and blood is shed, their destruction at each other’s hands looms ever more certain; but a desperate hope that somehow disaster can be averted propels readers to the final devastating page, leaving only the excruciating wait for the sequel.

Enthralling, agonizing and incandescent. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-374-38470-8
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2014


ChildrenTHE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski
by Marie Rutkoski
ChildrenTHE SHADOW SOCIETY by Marie Rutkoski
by Marie Rutkoski
ChildrenTHE JEWEL OF THE KALDERASH by Marie Rutkoski
by Marie Rutkoski
ChildrenTHE CABINET OF WONDERS by Marie Rutkoski
by Marie Rutkoski


ChildrenDARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers
by Robin LaFevers
ChildrenCATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins
by Suzanne Collins
ChildrenKING'S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard
by Victoria Aveyard
ChildrenTHE ROSE AND THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh
by Renée Ahdieh