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.
I finished The Winner’s Curse a few weeks back and – hold on the second one is already out?! Wha’?! I was SO excited.
Rutkoski’s writing is amazing. It’s lyrical and draws you in and Arin and Kestrel are absolute amaze balls.
Now, I gave the first book a three and a half because of one big, fat reason.
(Just as a side note; that thing that pissed me off wasn’t even mentioned in this book by Kestrel. That’s how you know the plot point was for Arin’s character, not Kestrel’s. And that is not okay.)
Thankfully, the sequel was everything I hoped for. The plot was fast, clever, and the chemistry was off the pages.
We had better get a kiss in book three! I mean, it’s called The Winner’s Kiss! Hello?
Okay, so to be a little more succinct.
Arin and Kestrel’s characters were consistent with what we saw in the first book. They both know how to play the game and deal with the (Bite and Sting) cards they’ve been drawn. But man, when it came to each other, how can two clever characters be so stupid?! I swear every conversation they had was pure lies and even though it was totally obvious, and even though they both know how devious the other is, they were all like, ‘well if you say it, it must be true, imma go be all depressed now’.
I loved seeing more of the world opened up outside of Herran and Valoria. The easterners were awesome and I really hope the plot point with Risha and her family plays a huge part in the next book. As for all of Kestrel’s problems though, there really was an easy solution to get what she wanted. Rutkoski hinted at it briefly, but if I were in Kestrel’s position it would have been all I could think of. And Arin, of course. Hint: solution = emperor + poison/dagger/blunt instrument to the head…
As for the ending. Urgh! *headdeskheaddeskheaddesk* How could Kestrel do so much stupid all at once? Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent ending, and I can. Not. Wait. to see how it all plays out, but seriously girl, what are you doing? Just stahp.
If you love rich world building and forbidden romance this is definitely a series you should get into. But… The Winner’s Kiss isn’t out until next March so, yeah. Just a head’s up.