The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Published: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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.
“As for whether the magic in The Crown’s Game is real, well . . . that depends. Do you believe in what you cannot see?”
This was on my TBR shelf for a few months, and when I received it in one of my subscription boxes it was time it came off the shelf. This book sadly took me awhile to get into. I couldn’t connect with the characters for the longest time and the plot took awhile to pick up pace.
“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.”
First, I’ll just say that this book was heavy on romance. There was the cliche of a love triangle, as well as another girl in love with one of our triangle boys. Pasha and Nikolai both are in love with Vika, and Vika thankfully is in “love” with only one of them. As I said the book was heavy in romance, but there wasn’t an actual couple per se. The game kind of came in the middle so they (Vika and Nicolai) didn’t know until basically the very end if their feelings were real towards each other. Also, there didn’t even need to be a love triangle. Pasha didn’t contribute any angst or tension between Vika and Nikolai, it just seemed as if they had this instant connection and only the game stood in their way. Yes, you guessed it instalove, but drawn out instalove. Poor Pasha never stood a chance.
“He smiled sadly. “I was lost from the moment I saw you on Ovchinin Island. It took a long while for me to realize it, but it’s true. I’ve spent my entire life scrambling to fit in and to change myself, Vika, but where I’ve belonged, and who I needed to be, has been right here the whole time. I love you.”
One would think that a book based upon a game to the death that magic would be overflowing and it would be action packed. Alas, that is not the case in this book. Yes, Vika and Nikolai are both enchanters, but they don’t use their magic that much. Or at least not in a way that you expect it. In the game, they each take turns to try to impress the tsar and at first they tried to kill each other. But you know, feelings kind of got in the way of that. So instead they just tried to one up each other and spared their life because they had a magical moment at the masquarade ball. (Que Cinderella moment here).
“She was a diamond in a quarry full of quartz.”
There was one moment in the book that I thought would redeem everything! Without giving anything away, this character could have been a great villain for our two enchanters. But instead the character had a minor role, maybe in the next book they will be utilized more. Only time will tell.
“And then she let go. For even she knew there was only so much one could do to protect a winter moth drawn to an icy flame.”
Overall, it was an okay book. I thought it could have been better with maybe another edit or two. It definitely needed more action packed scenes and magic duels! So if light fantasy and romance is your genre of choice, then you’ll definitely enjoy this book!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?