(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
by Marie Rutkoski
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Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
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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. (Goodreads)
I’ve really liked Kestrel since I first met her in the first book. She’s such a strong and determined character, and let’s be honest, she has a pretty brilliant mind. I do believe I am even more in love with Arin that I already was before. He’s such a great character and has a pretty brilliant mind as well. I love how the book showed how extraordinary Kestrel and Arin were. The ideas that they came up with and problems that they had to figure out were beyond remarkable. Also, I love the relationship between the two, and while we don’t get to see a whole lot of romantic times in the book, the parts that we do see are filled with tension.
As with any good book, Rutkoski gives you a wide range of characters to meet while reading the book. Some new characters are introduced that you will grow to love; as with Verex, Tensen and especially Roshar, who we will hopefully see a lot more of in the next book. But she also gives you a few characters to hate, mainly the emperor, who was so much more different than what I expected after his brief mention in the first book. And then there are the characters that are going to disappoint you and break your heart into teeny, tiny pieces.
The storyline for the book was just as engrossing as the one for the first book. I was seriously hooked, and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next. The suspense nearly killed me at times! And then there was that ending… Oh my goodness, that ending. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, I knew something would pretty big was going to happen, and it’s left me anxious for the next book to see what is going to happen next for Kestrel and the rest of the story.
Overall; if you haven’t yet started reading this series, I highly implore you to do so. This is a series like no other, and it’s guaranteed to have you hooked. From the gorgeous covers to the amazing characters and storyline, this series really has it all. Check it out!