The Crown’s Game. Evelyn Skye. Fantasy/Young adult. 2016. 399 pages. 5 stars.
“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.”
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.
The Crown’s Game was a novel I’ve been looking forward to (I marked it in my TBR months before it was due to be released) and it didn’t disappoint! This novel was light and amazing to read. The concept of The Crown’s Game was very original and I had a wonderful time reading all about it.
Reading the blurb, I got the impression that Nikolai and Vika will be required to endure tests similar to the ones in other YA novels such as An Ember in the Ashes (read the book review here) or The Scorch Trials. However, I was surprised when The Crown’s Game treated Russia more like a coloring book than anything else! These tests didn’t require them to show their strengths through killing or hurting. Instead, they showed their strength by making enchantments that made Russia more beautiful and vivid! Reading these scenes made me feel so happy, especially after reading so many novels that focus so much on brute force.
The characters were also another colorful component of this book. Each had their own unique personality that the story never dragged or got boring
(except for one character whom I will not mention). Love triangles–maybe even a love square?–were present, but really, is it a love triangle when we all know who’s going to be endgame?
I was a bundle of emotions when I finished this book because it took a turn I really didn’t expect. I was so shocked that Evelyn Skye decided to end The Crown’s Game with that scene.
Given all the feels and tears I shed, this definitely deserves 5 colorful stars. I’ll be posting a review of its sequel, The Crown’s Fate, soon!