The Winner’s Crime Book Review

The Winner’s Crime Image result for the winner's crime

Marie Rutkoski

Square Fish

March 3, 2015

416 pages

The Winner’s Crime is the sequel to the popular book The Winner’s Curse. While I enjoyed reading The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime was much more entertaining. It was fast paced and heart pounding. Everything in this book was also bigger then The Winner’s Curse. Bigger world, bigger characters, bigger stakes. The Winner’s Crime was an exciting and dramatic sequel.

In The Winner’s Crime, Kestrel is about to marry Verex, the emperor of Valoria’s son. Though Kestrel still loves Arin, she knows the only way to keep him safe is to follow through with the wedding. Then an opportunity emerges for Kestrel to become a spy for Arin’s people. Kestrel accepts the job of spy, even though it means risking everything.

The two main characters were so frustrating. Kestrel made some bad and reckless choices that made no sense, but she also made some decisions that were probably good in the long wrong but annoying for the reader. Arin, on the other hand, was just flat out frustrating. He didn’t understand anything until the end when it was to late. The character that made me feel the most was the emperor. He was such a brutal and ruthless antagonist that I was sometimes genuinely afraid for Kestrel. His son, Verex, was a character that I really liked. He was sweet and took care of Kestrel.

The Winner’s Crime is often considered a “romantic fantasy” and is a very romance driven book, but their is very little romance. Kestrel and Arin are rarely ever in the same room, and when they are, Kestrel is pushing Arin away. The angst and the things they do undercover for each other is what really drives the book. Though I like Kestrel and Arin’s relationship, it is nothing special. I did, however, enjoy reading about Kestrel and Verex’s friendship. They cared about each other and protected one another from the emperor. I also really liked to watch Kestrel and her father’s relationship develop. It was nice to see her father listen to her music for once and for them to finally understand each other (even if it just came crashing down at the end).

The Winner’s Crime was, overall, a much more entertaining book book then The Winner’s Curse. The pacing was also a lot better. Even though the first half of this book was pretty slow, the second half was heart stoppingly exciting. The climax to the end was the most heart pounding part of the book. It was really cool how everything we learned in this book came together to create the plot twist at the end.

Overall The Winner’s Crime was a successful sequel. For the most part the characters were interesting, the relationships complex, and the plot enthralling. I definitely recommend picking up and continuing this series. What did you think of The Winner’s Crime? I would love to know.

Currently Reading: The Winner’s Kiss

Instagram: @lucysliterature

Twitter: @lucylitblog1456




  1. Great review! I was nodding along with all of it. (Annoying characters? Yep. Awesome father/daughter relationship stuff? Oh yes. More enjoyable than the first book? Definitely.)

    Hopefully you love The Winner’s Kiss! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s