I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Teen, Young Adult
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 heard some amazing things about Evelyn Skye’s debut The Crown’s Game for months. I was so excited when it finally came up on my “read this week” list that I bumped all the others down a spot. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into and hoped I would enjoy the read. I am happy to say that the story was engrossing and unexpected in such a great way. Twenty years ago the Royal Enchanter of Russia died. His power went back into the land awaiting the next to be born who can wield it. Two are born, Vika and Nikolai. They each are able to wield half of the power. But two half powered enchanters are not what will protect the land, so the Crown’s Game is ordered. Two enchanters, five turns each to impress the Tsar and attempt to kill the other. At the end, only one can live.
The plot of The Crown’s Game was unique and had more depth than I expected. There was the standard YA love triangle that was meh, and a subplot of someone returning after a long time that I found tedious and unnecessary till the very end, but as a whole the story worked very well. Pitting two magical teens to the death is not a writing feat to take lightly and Evelyn Skye did it very well. She was able to write with emotion and clarity that I found refreshing. The pacing had a few weak spots in the build-up to the games, but as a whole was extremely successful. The world created was vivid and bright. I could picture the locations and see the streets they walked on. I was very impressed with the detail given to even the smallest of things, such as a rat. Hoo boy, the emotions ran high in this one. From fear and rage to love and hatred every emotion was presented with a reason and with a purpose. The characters were mostly great. I loved Vika and Nikolai. Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and the heir to the throne was endearing and engaging, but his sister, Yuliana was more annoying than anything. I really loved the mentors to each of the enchanters, they knew what they were getting into with their charges but they still loved and cared for them and tried to provide the best lives they could to them.
I was impressed by The Crown’s Game as a whole. I kept thinking I knew where the story was going and then I would be completely blindsided by a revelation. The end, oh lord the end, was not at all what I thought would happen. I also appreciated Evelyn Skye as she did not take the easy way out in her story telling and that made the read so much more than average. I am always surprised when an author makes something happen that you never thought would, but yet it is exactly what needed to happen. I cannot wait until book two comes out, as I need to know what happens next.
Favorite lines – “You’re a part of me, whatever the outcome. If you die, a part of me dies. If you live but suffer, then I suffer as well.” “I am very sorry for that.”
Biggest cliché – I can do anything you can do, but better.
Have you read The Crown’s Game, or added it to your TBR?
Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.
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1 winner will receive a beautiful custom THE CROWN’S GAME necklace (similar to the one in the photo below) made by the lovely Tales of A Ravenous Reader, US Only.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Debut Author Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge