*This is a spoiler-free review.
♡ Book Title: The Crown’s Game.
♡ Author: Evelyn Skye.
♡ Series: The Crown’s Game #1.
♡ Page Count: 416 Pages (Kindle Edition).
♡ Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic.
♡ Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars.
Vika Andreyev 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 skeptical to read The Crown’s Game because of the numerous negative reviews I’ve read; and after reading it I can understand how some hardcore fantasy readers weren’t completely satisfied with the brutality of the game or the magic used within. I, on the other hand; found that the magic and the love story was very reminiscent of The Night Circus and I loved it.
The Crown’s Game follows two imperial enchanters – Vika and Nikolai – in their journey to becoming the one true imperial enchanter (as there can only be one). Throughout the game they try to out magic each other by creating elaborately creative magic designs, hoping that one design will outwit the other. But with so many role players involved, the game soon becomes complicated and there is only one way out…
I really adored the setting of this novel; it was set in 1825 Russia and I really loved reading about Russia and Russian history. This is the first book I’ve read that explored this country, but it will most certainly not be the last. I felt that the writing was sophisticated and mature, but yet understandable and enjoyable. I really enjoyed the plot and the whole premise of the game and how it turned out, there were numerous plot details and side plot lines that completed the story and they were all neatly integrated within the story as a whole.
To me the competition was more creative and impressive in nature and less violent like most people anticipated it to be. Admittedly I really loved it and I love magical stories where the characters use their magic to enchant things and make them come alive or create something totally unique. The things that both enchanters created was so unique and amazingly beautiful and I loved it!
There were yellows soft as lemon creams, and greens like apples for pie. Purple like lavender mashmallows, and pink like rosewater taffy.
I liked Vika – she was a spunky red head who had learned to control the natural elements and twist them to her favour. I liked Vika and I loved some of the magical things she created, she was an enjoyable character to follow and she definitely showed some character progression towards the end. Nikolai was a character that I really came to love. He was charming and a true gentleman and I enjoyed his characterisation immensely. These two just reminded me so much of Celia and Marco from The Night Circus, it’s almost uncanny.
As soon as Vika floated into the ballroom, he’d felt her pull. She was the sun, and he was a mere rock, draw in by her gravity. He needed to be closer, to feel her magic…
Another character that I really loved was Pasha, even though he was set to become the Tsar, he was so down to earth and he just wanted the best for his people. The romance didn’t feel as insta-lovey as everyone described it, in fact I think that it developed over the perfect amount of time – I mean no one knows what a magic connection feels like 😉 I would however have preferred less love-triangles.
I really liked this book and I am anticipating the sequel to see where it goes from here, I have a hunch that there will be more action or war involved this time round.
- The magical aspect and everything that was created or enchanted by this magic.
- The concept of the game was enjoyable to me.
- I liked Pasha, he was a breath of fresh air.
- I also like Ludmilla and her scrumptious treats that she sold out of her pumpkin shop.
- It reminded me so much of The Night Circus that I couldn’t help but love it.
- I loved the setting of Russia and look forward to reading more books set here.
- The love-triangles were a bit much.
- Yuliana wasn’t my favourite character and I kinda despised her – she was too goody two shoes.
I unfortunately don’t think that lovers of hardcore fantasy will find this enjoyable, but people who like enchantments and a more creative, “softer” take on magic might like this. Also fans of The Night Circus might find it enjoyable, I certainly did.