You followed along last month while we did a read-along of The Winner's Curse, and now we're back with book two, The Winner's Crime! :)
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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.
My thoughts on Chapter 1 -10
This is where things get tricky. I want to share so much, but I am not sure if everyone reading this has already read The Winner's Curse, book one in the series. So, I am going to try and write this without any spoilers (or will put the spoilers in white font. You will have to highlight to read it if you choose to.)
The Winner's Crime opens up with Kestrel settling into her new life. A month has past since the ending of the last book, and Kestrel still hasn't seen or heard from Arin. Living in the Emperor's house is scary! Not even two chapters in and I can already tell he is going to be a bully. There is talk about her wedding to his son and her possibly becoming a great ruler one day. But it's the way the Emperor approaches each subject that is scary. Kestrel's genius mind also comes to light and it feels good to be back in her world! But the emperor is just as smart, and catches on to her very easily. He is also VERY CRUEL.
In These first ten chapters you get to see first hand just how far the emperor's cruelty runs. Kestrel has witnessed a slave being tortured, a Prince who sort of despises her and his own father (though, I am not sure yet if he's an enemy), and a bunch of threats made by the Emperor, only not direct.
Favorite Quote -- Kestrel to Prince Verex: "If you won't be my friend, you'll regret being my enemy."
What worries me is that Arin has no clue why Kestrel did what she did, and he is angry. He loves her so much that his hurt is getting the best of him. One thing I love most about this book so far is that you get a lot more of Arin's point of view. Marie Rutkoski recaps from when he was first bought as a slave by Kestrel, to when he first started escorting her on her outings around town. The best part is that she weaves it into the story without taking over page after page with the past.
Overall, I am so happy with where the story is going. Some old friends reappear, new allies are made, and Arin... *sigh* I just want to cuddle him and make everything all right. LOL! :)
Love it! Cannot wait to dive into the next ten chapters next week!
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