I am honored to have Marie Rutkoski on the blog again to answer my questions about her next book, The Winner’s Crime. I absolutely adored The Winner’s Curse and this next installment. If you are a fan of vivid storytelling, lush, elegant prose and complicated characters these books are for you.
The romance between Arin and Kestrel is realistic as well as heart-breaking. Are you a fan of star-crossed lovers and who would you say is your favorite couple?
I love all kinds of romances. Star-crossed romances can be particularly delicious, but I really need for the reason the lovers can’t be together to feel real, not arbitrary, and made distinct. I love that Karou and Akiva from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone are star-crossed not just because of their difference in species (if that’s the right word to talk about humans, angels, and chimeras), but also because Akiva does something for which there seems to be no possible solution ever.
Some other favorite star-crossed couples: Gen and Irene from The Queen of Attolia. Sunshine and Constantine from Sunshine. Maud and Sue from Fingersmith. Eldric and Briony from Chime. Kaye and Roibin from Tithe and Ironside. Marcus Flutie and Jessica Darling.
Both couples from I’ll Give You the Sun (Noah and Brian, Jude and Oscar). Nelson’s writing makes the attraction so alive, but it’s also the fear that all four characters have of love that really puts the knife in me, I suppose because we all know what it’s like to want what we think we can’t or shouldn’t have.
What was the strangest thing you’ve found in your research for this series?
The loveliest thing I’ve come across lately is Socrates’s explanation for how cicadas came into existence. It’s in the Phaedrus. The most fun has been learning about forging and smithing weapons. I’m not sure I’ve come across anything strange, exactly….
This is a common question but I’m always curious about- in developing your characters are you inspired by people you know, read about, etc?
Roshar is based not so much on a friend but on a kind of friendship I have with certain people, where we tease each other and also try to be clever, and out-clever the other in a loving way. I think there’s a common thread between Eugenides and Kestrel—they’re very different people, but one of the things I’ve always loved about reading Gen in Megan Whalen Turner’s books is his fierce intelligence, his cunning ways, and how he can be emotionally undone by his scheming. I wanted to write a book about characters who are too smart for their own good. Kestrel and Arin both fit that bill.
If you could time travel would you go to the past or future? Why?
The past. Because then I could meet Jamie Fraser. Oh wait? He’s fictional? You could have fooled me! But yes, definitely the past. The future worries me, and as someone who has spent a lot of time reading about the past (Shakespeare’s England, in particular), I’d just have to see how what I imagine matches with what really was.
Thanks for having me!
About the Book
Following your heart can be a crime
A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. 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: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.
This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.
About the Author
Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Winner’s Curse, The Shadow Society, and the Kronos Chronicles, which includes The Cabinet of Wonders. She is a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in New York City. marierutkoski.com
- Review of The Winner’s Curse
- Review of The Winner’s Crime
- Review of The Shadow Society
- Interview with Marie Rutkoski about The Winner’s Curse and play-list
- Lego Cover Art of The Winner’s Curse
Enter to win a copy of either The Winner’s Curse (paperback) or The Winner’s Crime (hardcover). The wonderful Macmillan is providing the prize so US only.