I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.