This is a spoiler free review!
The Crown’s Game
Written by Evelyn Skye
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Recommended Age: 12 and up!
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
I was so excited for this book. I kept eagerly checking the libraries new shelf in order to see if they had gotten the book in. And then finally when they had, I snatched it up and read it as quickly as possible. I really enjoyed it but not enough to give it a five Crown rating. I kind of imagined it as a super high stakes game in which people watched [sort of like in Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard] but I didn’t completely get that which disappointed me a bit.
The cover is amazing. I love it and it would look so beautiful on my shelf, if I owned it. :( But it is so beautiful. I love how the buildings of Russia are shown in the crown which makes it super unique.
The world building was done extremely well. We got to see Russia in all its glory. I’ve always liked books that are set in Russia, either mythical Russia or real Russia. After finishing this book I really wanted to visit the places the characters see and visit.
Then there are the characters.
I adored Vika. She was an amazing character and heroine and I can’t wait to see more of her. She stood her ground and was fierce just like she should have been. She seemed to remind me of the Scarlet Witch which was interesting. Her powers were amazing and I feel like she should be doing something great with them. She was a complex character and had a lot of layers and was a lot different than I thought when I first met her.
Nikolai was adorable and amazing though I confess I kind of didn’t trust him at the beginning. I thought he would for sure kill Vika because he had valid reasons to want to win. But Nikolai had a lot of compassion and I really liked him as a character.
Pasha was Nikolai’s best friend and the heir to the throne. Pasha was fun-loving and adorable. He also had an amazing friendship with Nikolai that I adored. But he changed near the end of the book, because of certain circumstances which made him less lovable and more someone who annoyed me and I wanted out of the whole equation. But I still love him because I know he’s redeemable and he is totally adorable.
The plot was pretty unique but I was a little disappointed that the crown’s game wasn’t a high-stakes game. Yes, the enchanters were trying to kill each other but I thought it would be scarier and more heart-wrenching. I enjoyed the plot nevertheless.
The romance wasn’t insta-lovey and it almost didn’t exist. The enchanters were interested in each other for sure but they didn’t really form any romantic relationship or attachment. You could tell that Vika really cared for both Pasha and Nikolai but I don’t think it really came to love.
The writing was beautiful. It flowed perfectly and made me really move through the book.
This was a debut novel and it was brilliantly done. There were loads of twists and turns that were impossibly to figure out in advance. The characters were well thought out and well written. Vika is one of my new favorite heroines and Nikolai and Pasha are two of my new favorite characters/new book boyfriends.
I highly recommend this book to any fans of YA Fantasy and I hope you will all give it a try.
Quotes from the Book:
“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.”
“There are things more dangerous than a little magic.”
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crowns