Rutkoski, Marie The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy, #2), 402 pgs. Farrar Straus & Giroux (Macmillan) $17.99 Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG; Violence: R.
Kestrel has promised to wed the emperor’s son with the bargain that the emperor will free Arin and his country. But as Kestrel starts to understand the emperor she sees that he has every intention of overtaking the whole empire. In a further attempt to protect Arin and the country that he loves so much, Kestrel begins to spy on those around her, but the emperor is keeping her on a short leash and she is starting to doubt her ability to stay away from Arin. When Arin comes to visit the emperor’s palace for Kestrel’s engagement ball it’s her chance to explain herself, but if she tells Arin the truth, all the good she has done will be for naught.
This is a fantastic series that is impossible to put down once you start. I love the struggle that Kestrel goes through as she tries to be honorable and protect what she loves. The ending is a cliff hanger, once again, but I cannot wait to read the last book. I love the characters, plot line and the setting of this book. My only issue is the violence—there is a gruesome torture scene and the violence is hard to stomach, which moves it to optional for middle schools and from essential to advisable for high schools.
MS-OPTIONAL. HS-ADVISABLE. Reviewer, C. Peterson.