The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Historical
Pages: 399 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
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.
When I first heard about The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye I knew I needed this book like I need air. Set in historical Russia , two enchanters, Vika and Nikolai must face off against each other to earn their place as Imperial Enchanter. Problem is there can be only one and as their lives weave together the stakes get even higher.
Let’s start off with the characters. Vika Andreyeva is fiery and self-assured growing up in the wilds of Ovchinin Island while Nikolai Karimov is more reserved yet bursting with knowledge having spent a good portion of his life in the city. The two of them are cut from the same cloth, this magical connection pulling them together, despite being opposition, and it makes the narrative even more riveting.
While Vika and Nikolai are the central figures, Skye surrounds them with a colorful supporting cast. Pasha, the crown prince who’d rather spend time with his people, his sister, Yuliana, much more like the Tsar, the mentors, Sergei and Galina, and Renata, the servant with an affinity for reading tea leaves. My favorite though has to be Ludmila, baker extraordinaire and always so cheery.
I am a little bit obsessed with literature set in Imperial Russia and I have to say The Crown’s Game truly conveyed the charm and grand style of the country. The mention of food alone was exquisite and the culture shone through. Add fantasy into the mix and this became a definite winner. I loved how the game played out with each turn and that the enchanters had different styles when it came to their powers.
I have to say the attention to detail in this story was A+++. Skye’s descriptions were so well written, painting an exquisite picture for the reader to experience. Whether it was the streets of St. Petersburg or the magical deeds, everything was brought to life before my eyes. The only issue I had was the predictability of quite a few moments in the story. Don’t worry though, there are still surprises to be had.
Overall, I could not help falling in love with The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. With similar elements to The Night Circus, a great cast of characters, and Imperial Russia as the setting, there was just no way I could dislike this one. I’m dying to see what’s to come in the next installment and where Skye goes from here. This was an excellent debut and I hope people will give it a chance!
So have you read The Crown’s Game yet? Are you a sucker for fantasies set in Russia like I am? Is it possible to pick a favorite character? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!