“The Crown’s Game”
By Evelyn Skye
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.
This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, and I’m delightfully pleased.
I thought the Crown’s Game contest would be a crazy, fiery, magic-filled battle for glory. But it ended up being more graceful and a contest of beauty. The two enchanters Nikolai and Vika each take turns performing a magical exhibition to impress the Tsar. But only one of them will make it out of the competition alive, the loser must give up using the magic of the world, and therefor their life.
I want to read all the Imperial Russia books. I loved the Russian reality in of “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray and I adored the setting of “The Crown’s Game”. Apparently the author took real historical figures and added a magical flare (another recurring them for me lately: My Lady Jane).
There are three main characters in this book: There are the two enchanters Vika and Nikolai who each have their own magical strengths. Vika has a strong control of natural elements, while Nikolai has a stronger grasp on fabricated materials. The third character Pasha, the heir to the Russian throne, is just a young man who wants to go on adventures, not rule an empire.
Yes there’s a love triangle, and I really liked it. It was actually well written. There’s a bit of insta-love, but hold the phone, it’s not on the girl’s side. Whaaaat? (in fact I think she’s the least invested in these relationships and I love her more for it) And I liked all sides of this triangle: Pasha/Vika, Vika/Nikolai and even the adorable friendship of Nikolai/Pasha, especially the romantic sides, as evident by my goodreads updates:
But don’t worry triangle haters, It didn’t overwhelm the story, there’s plenty of magic and trying to kill each other.
Oh and that ending! I just don’t know where the next book will go and I can’t wait.
This book definitely deserves a prettier cover.Read More