young adult • fantasy • romance
“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”
WARNING!! SPOILERS FOR THE WINNER’S CURSE (BOOK #1) AHEAD
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.
The first book of the series was a bit disappointment for me. So when I started this book, I wasn’t really expecting much. I was just curious about how the story will go and stuff. But, I was really caught off guard with how the story just jump from the lame cliff and spread its wing beyond my expectation. Literally. This book turns out to be waaaaaay better than what I expected it to be. So so so much better than the first one. This sequel gets darker, much more vicious and less focused on romance.
For me, Kestrel was one of the smart heroine in the YA world. She was more of behind-the-scene-girl of the rebellion, than the Katniss’ type, though I couldn’t be so sure since the first book didn’t really do much to me. In the second book though, we got to know more about her. She remains the smart (obviously) and strategic throughout the book. She gets more bold about her opinion but still some secret remain kept. And then we have Arin. I hate the fact that in the first book, he was becoming more and more sappy through the last pages. How did that even happen? But no no no in this book he finally got his grip on what was the main priority between Kestrel and his people (well sometime a bit confused but it’s tolerable).
The plot was absolutely getting more serious since the King aka Kestrel’s future father-in-law was always ten steps way over her. She must keep her position as the trusted King’s adviser but also stay true to her heart. And then there’s also several encounter with Arin that made me want to yell out loud and rip the pages (not really actually) because of the words Kestrel was holding not to say.
“But she hadn’t expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What good would it have done? None.
Why oh why it always a wrong timing for their meeting. And why does it so hard for Arin to see that everything she does is for him!! argghh. So many things were left unsaid between them and it just gets into my nerve so baaaad!
This book really full of genuine surprises than the first book. I love how the ending in the first book brought something way better from what I was expecting the second book to be. And than there’s the ending.. (speechless for several minutes).. Please just hand me the next book right now!!
“You can’t see both sides of one coin at once, can you, child? The god of money always keeps a secret.