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The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski is definitely one of the most anticipated sequels of the year after the amazing Winner’s Curse came out last year. I had been putting off reading my copy due to other deadlines, so when the chance to review the audiobook came, it was a great way of fitting another ARC in ;-). However, it seems like audio wasn’t the best way for me to go, so I didn’t end up loving The Winner’s Crime as much as everyone else has. From here on out there will be definite spoilers, so check out my review of Winner’s Curse instead to be safe!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Winner’s Crime from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Narrated by Justine Eyre
(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
Published by Farrar on March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 417 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

3 Stars


  • My favorite thing about all fantasies is finding out more about the world that has been created. Therefore, I was thrilled when I found out that The Winner’s Crime would take place outside of the previous book’s location of Harran. We get to see a lot of the capital and even a bit of the Eastern Kingdom :D.
  • The end of Winner’s Crime definitely goes out with a bang and the entire second half felt like a snowball rolling down a pretty darn steep hill. The things that development were not at all what I was expecting and I love being surprised in books!
  • The narrator of The Winner’s Crime did a good job coming up with different accents for the different people of the world and keeping those accents consistent and realistic even when she voiced the male characters. Always a challenge!
  • Despite the misgivings I list below, I’m really really curious about book three and will be eagerly awaiting it with everyone else. I must know what will happen!


  • I’ve had trouble with the narrator (Justine Eyre) before and her voice just doesn’t work for me. She very consistently has a subtle warble at the end of her sentences that make her sound really over dramatic to my ear. I actually sped up the narration so that I didn’t hear it as clearly to avoid going crazy.
  • The first half of The Winner’s Crime was way too slow for me. This is particularly problematic when I’m listening to an audiobook since it was making me seriously sleepy and I had to switch to music while driving :(.
  • One of the reasons The Winner’s Crime felt slow to me is that I just don’t get into court intrigue at all. This has always been a problem for me given how much court intrigue can factor in to some fantasies. The first half of The Winner’s Crime (and even large chunks of the second) was Kestrel and Arin skirting around the Emperor and members of the court while trying to be clever.
  • As you could probably guess from the end of The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime is filled with a lot of romantic angst. These kids are in the epitome of a forbidden love situation and even forbid themselves from feeling anything for the other. After a point, I just get tired of moping.
  • The Winner’s Crime had a lot of sequences that sound awesome to me in theory, but the story-telling largely skipped over those parts and only discussed them in hindsight. Much of the visit to the Eastern Kingdom, for example, was skimmed and therefore I was disappointed.


The Winner’s Crime made it pretty clear that this trilogy is more of a romance than I would like and is more like alternative historical fiction than fantasy. There is a made-up world, sure, but otherwise it is very similar to what you’d find in historical fiction to me. The Winner’s Crime is still beautiful and poignant and I must know how everything ends, but if you aren’t interested in court intrigue and romantic angst, it might not be for you.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. The romance angst…..I seriously rolled my eyes so many times, I am shocked they didn’t get stuck back there. It was just too freaking much for one book. Also, Arin was a little bitch for 99% of the novel. Gag.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Challenge: Burn, Rewrite or Reread?My Profile

    • Hehe, I definitely came close to giving myself a headache with the eyerolling, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  2. I was so-so on the first book, and seeing your review and others makes me wonder if this series is right for me. I’m not too big into romantic angst. :)

  3. I like court intrigues a lot, so I’ll write down the name of this series, even though it seems to have more romance than what I usually like. I’ll probably pick up the books though, because even though I like it when narrators get the voices right, I don’t like overly dramatic narrations.
    Hellen recently posted…Top Ten Spring ListMy Profile

  4. I really enjoyed the second book. Super excited to read the last book. Lovely review!

  5. Yay!! Every one of the problems you had are a non-issue for me, so I’m excited! I listened to the first one on audio and while I know what you’re talking about it doesn’t really bother me. And I enjoy court intrigue – and comparing to historical romance or alternative history is a bonus for me :) I have a long line before I can get to this – maybe next month!
    Berls recently posted…When Authors Just Stop?My Profile

  6. You summed up my experience with this perfectly!! I’m still curious like you how this will end but yeah it was too much angst for me.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Comic Reviews: Revival Deluxe Edition & Through the WoodsMy Profile

  7. I had been kicking myself for not reading The Winner’s Curse when everyone said it was so amazing, but now, I think going with my gut was the right choice. I may come back to it at some point, but if it’s as court intrigue and romance heavy as you say, especially if the first half of this book is that slow…yeah, probably best to skip this for now. Thanks for the lovely review!
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Discussion: Scholastic Reading ReportMy Profile

    • Yeah, I really don’t think you’d enjoy this trilogy. I’m remembering to my first instinct of not planning on reading book one but getting it unsolicited and so giving it a try. I should have listened to my gut!

  8. I listened to The Winner’s Curse on audio so I was debating about doing the same for Crime, but if you say it starts out slow. I’m probably better off actually reading it.
    Jen recently posted…The Infinite by Lori M. Lee #BookReview #GuestPost #GiveawayMy Profile

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