Double Review: The Winner’s Crime & The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski 

Hello, fellow bloggers!

I’m here on this lovely Friday to bring you another double review. I feel like they make a lot of sense for books in a series, especially if I read them in sussession. Plus, I already had this lovely picture of the two of them together, so why not take advantage of that? 😉

As you see from the title and photo, this will be a review of the last two books in the Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I read the first book in this trilogy, The Winner’s Curse, back at the beginning of the year, I think February or March, and I really loved it. I read it from start to finish in one sitting. It was a beautifully written story about two characters who are so stubborn you just want to smack their heads together, but you grow to love and respect them for different reasons. Here is the link to the Goodreads page for first book. I gave it a solid 5/5 stars. Now, on with the reviews!

The Winner’s Crime

“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

Going into this second book, the Winner’s Crime, I’d heard it was just as good as the first book. So, I had high expectations. Which sometimes can be a bad thing, but lucky for me, it really was just as good as the first.

All my favorite characters were back, and some new characters I really grew to like were introduced. This series has a unique way of changing your perspective throughout the story. As you start to understand the motivations of each character, you get another piece of the puzzle that is this book. It is such a fun ride trying to figure out what each character will do with more information and limited options. On one hand, you want Arin, our male protagonist, to win back his country and get revenge for all the years he spent as a slave. But on the other, you’re worried for Kestrel, our female protagonist, and what could happen to her and the people she loves if Arin gets what he wants. It’s a battle of strategy and wits. A mind game for the ages.

And all the while, you ship Arin and Kestrel so hard, you wish they could just put aside their honor, stubborn nature, and ties to their respective countries to just kiss already. God, it’s so frustrating how they lack basic communication skills. Why can’t one of them just be like:



But it’s also so good. The secret touches and hidden glances. The love they feel but try to hide. And the lengths they go to for each other, even against all logic. I love how unique each character is, while being so similar.

“He did not want her to know. He did not want her to see.


Look at me, he found himself thinking furiously at her.

Look at me.

She lifted her eyes, and did.”

The tension between them and the entire situation is flawless. It’s a magical tale of games, winners and losers, and the things you’re willing to gamble.

Definitely loved this book! 5/5 stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Winner’s Kiss

What to even say about this book? I finished it this morning and I don’t really have my feels in check about it yet. 😂 It was completely bittersweet. The ending was perfection. It was everything I had hoped it would be, with all the slight of hand and tricky games I had come to expect from this trilogy.

This book picks up right where the last one left off, which I really appreciate. Cause the ending of the second book was a #cliffhanger. Arin is making new allies with some characters I love, but that maybe can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, Kestrel is paying a deep price for her choices. You’re taken on a ride through a war, new friendships, old loves, and life and death decisions. I loved every second of this book. I did read it a bit slower than the first two, but honestly, I think it was more about my not wanting it to end than it not holding my interest.

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

Also, can I talk about what a lovely character Kestrel is? It’s amazing to see a strong female character who uses her intelligence. She’s not gifted in the normal “hero” sense. She can’t slay a dragon with a sword or beat someone in hand-to-hand combat, but she could kill you just the same, and you wouldn’t see it coming. Because she’s a player, and she loves to win the game. I hope she inspires girls all over to be proud of their mind. Because it can conquer the strongest army and also win the boy’s heart.

Since my thoughts aren’t really in order, I’m not sure what else I can say about this book without spoiling anything. I’ll say it gave me that satisfying feeling when I flipped the last page. It was a long journey to happy, but it was worth the emotional rollercoaster.
Another 5/5 star book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



“Please understand. When I look at you as if you’re crazy, it’s not that I judge you for your insanity.”

I hope I’ve convinced you to check out this awesome trilogy and love it with me! 😊

Cheers! ☕️   And have a lovely weekend! 

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