Published: March 3, 2015
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.
I know that when stating the theme of a book it should always be put into a complete sentence but to me it is simply LACK OF COMMUNICATION. So, I guess I would say “The lack of communications between people, specifically men and women, can be devastating.”
Kestrel does what she thinks she has to do to protect Arin and his people, so she agrees to marry the Emperor’s son and soon after the Emperor catches her in a lie and says there will be punishment but makes her wait for it. The punishment comes when the emperor has someone slice up Arin’s face with Kestrel’s dagger, which the emperor had taken from her previously. Fortunately, Arin is able to kill his attacker and escape.
Kestrel sees how horrific the consequences of her actions can be and so continues to try to undermine the Emperor in secret.
Arin learns of some dreadful things that Kestel has done and returns to the palace to confront her and finds her at her piano but little does he know that her father is hiding in a secret room and can hear everything they say. Kestrel knows her father is there and so is guarded with her words and refuses to tell Arin her true feelings for him but does admit to the horrible things she has done. Arin, washes his hands of her and leaves.
Her father tells the emperor of the conversation between Kestrel and Arin (an enemy of the state) and they accuse her of treason and sentence her to a faraway and cold work camp and fake her death.
Arin, not knowing any of this is despondent and throws the last reminder of her in the sea, her dagger. ( I died a bit when he did that, I couldn’t believe it)
Fantastic story but would have turned out completely different if they, especially Kestrel, would have honestly conveyed their true feelings.
Can’t wait for the third installment which should be released in a bit over a month.