“One name was passed around the court like a pearl. It was said slowly, in appreciation of its luster, its smooth weight, the way it rolled into the well of a palm and warmed.”
Kestrel must deal with the consequences of her decision. She’s the Emperess-to-be of Valoria. She no longer lives in Herran but in the Emperor’s Palace of her country where she is watched, judged, and tested by the Emperor. She is to marry his son, so thoughts of Arin must be eradicated from her mind. It’s easier said than done, especially when he’s been invited to the engagement festivities at the palace. Kestrel keeps busy trying to figure out the Emperor’s plans and trying to undermine them. Meanwhile, Arin doesn’t understand Kestrel anymore, but he can’t get her out of his mind. With treachery afoot in the palace, Arin will stop at nothing to keep his country safe, even if that means risking his life.
I went to Barnes & Noble the day after this novel came out and they didn’t even have it out on the shelves yet! I had to specifically ask for it but I’m sure glad I did. I had just finished a book that day so I was beyond ready to jump into The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. This cover is beyond gorgeous! I’m so happy I bought this in hardback because it will look beautiful on my shelves! I’ll have to eventually buy the first one, too, though –can’t have an incomplete trilogy!
“An emotion clamped down on her heart. It squeezed her into a terrible silence. But he said nothing after that, only her name, as if her name were not a name but a question. Or perhaps that wasn’t how he said it, and she was wrong, and she’d heard a question simply because the sound of him speaking her name made her wish that she were his answer.”
This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. I couldn’t stop reading it. I’m so glad there’s a third book because I want more of this world, and you know, clearly because things are not wrapped up at all.
To be honest though, I am kind of getting sick of the misunderstanding between Kestrel & Arin. That’s getting a little annoying. I mean, it IS reminiscent of real life that way, but with way higher stakes.
There are so many emotions running through me as I think about this book. I want to spoil this by talking about everything I’m feeling, but I won’t, because that’s unfair. I also apologize that this review is all over the place right now. I’m writing this right after work and my brain is a little fried.
Everything in this story is woven so complex. It’s fun to try to unravel the pieces before Kestrel does. Or if you can’t, it’s just nice to see the process unfold before you. This is becoming one of my favorite series! I hope the third book doesn’t disappoint. The Winner’s Kiss is set for 2016 right now. I’m crossing my fingers it’s early in the year because I don’t know how long I will be able to wait for it!
Have you started The Winner’s Trilogy yet? What’s stopping you?