The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Middle books usually suffer because there's a lot of padding. That isn't exactly the case here, but there's something a little off. It's a good continuation of the series, and I particularly liked Arin's trip to (better description of that world, but not by much). The romance part is less than in the first book, which made it easier for the author to allow the characters to move about in their worlds. As for the proposed marriage? I wonder. If the author is going for predictable in Book Three, the Emporer will die before it happens and Arin/Kestrel will live happily ever after. The other surprise will be to see if Verex really is as unfit as the Emporer thinks he is. Here's hoping for unpredictable.
ARC provided by publisher.