Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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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.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
DNF at 25%
Poor tragic Kestral has tied herself into a marriage with someone she doesn’t love to save someone she does.
Like, whatever. Fuck your fake version of slavery.
Fuck Kestral, too. At 25%, which is where I put this book down once and for all nearly in tears, she casually suggests murdering a whole herd of horses to save some land and make the people more vulnerable to invasion (and probably slavery). She’s a total doormat too, and completely passive. By 25% through the book, literally nothing had happened except Kestral had a few boring conversations with boring people and Arin rocked up to sexually harass her.
And Arin? Not only is he sexist and elitist, but the way it’s written, Kestral is supposed to have power over him. Yet she never does. He sexually harasses Kestral, and it’s probably more like sexual assault, except that afterwards we find out that Kestral’s emphatic ‘NO’ really did mean ‘yes’. So fuck you, too.
Just like in the previous book, it’s really icky and gross. Kestral way outranks Arin, yet he pushes her around, sexually assaults her (although she likes it) and generally disrespects her. Yet she can’t stop thinking about him.
I genuinely tried to give this book a chance even though I didn’t like the first one very much, because most of my reading friends absolutely swoon over the romance. True, the writing is spectacularly beautiful, but I despise Arin and I think I pretty much hate Kestral. I think whether someone will like The Winner’s Crime might be based entirely on how romantic they think being pushed around and disrespected by someone lower ranked than them is. And whether they think sexual harassment is sexy.