Title: The Crown’s Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Published date: May 17, 2016
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 have conflicting feelings about this novel. It’s very much has the premise of Ruined with a slight dose of Shadow and Bone The Crown’s Game is a fantasy novel set in Russia. We are immediately introduce to the three major characters. Vika, Nickolai, and Pasha.
Vika is an enchanter. She grew up on an island with her father and believing one day she would become the imperial enchanter not knowing she had an opponent to rival for that title.
Nickolai is an orphan and a enchanter. He is kind, considerate but also lonely. His one best friend is of course….
Pasha, the heir to the Russia throne.
Beginning this book, I thought it was pretty interesting. The IDEA The Crown’s game and it’s purpose fascinated me. I really loved the setting in Russia and it’s history. I can easily tell the author put a lot of research in the world building aspect and it is very well-written. I also liked the side characters in the story, it keeps it interesting every now and then.
However, there are some things that kept me from loving the book. The insta-love was unmistakable. It felt like the love triangle was just thrown in to add some angst and drama which didn’t work for me. It was also unnecessary. The book also was very slow-paced and did not hold much tension. It also lacked character development. Pasha, for example was just there to play the role of a Prince and a love interest.
Despite these, overall it was entertaining, and I find the Crown’s Game likable to some extent. I hope these flaws will be redeemed in the next book, and I definitely will read the sequel.