The Crown's Game is author Evelyn Skye's debut novel, and she did a fantastic job. The characters are realistic, lovable and quite well written. The plot is fascinating and before you know it, you will be sucked into a world full of magic and intrigue.
The setting of this great story is in Russia, an area where not many novels take place. While some of the names and places may throw you off at the very beginning (as it did for me), the story is so riveting you soon will not be able to tear your eyes away from the pages. Believe me, I definitely did not intend to stay up as late (or early) as I did that morning that I finished it, but I just couldn't stop. I was too into the story.
Vika is one of the two enchanters, Nikolai is the other. Their magic is one magic that has been split in two, and it calls to itself, causing the two to instantly feel a strange attraction to each other. These two enchanters are two halves of one whole. While Vika's magic is the natural half, giving her the ability to call on living beings and control the elements, Nikolai's is more mechanical. He can do things like shape and create new structures from nothing.
Vika is wild, untamed. She's not very predictable, like her wild, naturalistic magic. Nikolai is the polar opposite. He's polite, and a gentleman. And as we all know, there isn't much I love more than a gentleman.
To add to the drama of these two already feeling attracted to each other though one is bound to die, Pasha, Nikolai's best friend and heir to the throne, has begun to have feelings for the mysterious fire girl (Vika) as well. It doesn't help that Pasha has no idea what the Crown's Game is, or that his best friend is a contender in it.
I'll admit, the exposition of the story was rather long, making the beginning a little boring. That is exactly the reason I started reading it in the late evening. What I was not anticipating is that the story catches up and quickly becomes enthralling, aka I stayed up way too late and slept in until noon the next morning.
The Crown's Game is fascinating, full of action, magic and a little romance. All things that I love in a good novel. I really enjoyed this story, it had a rather surprising ending, but I'm quite looking forward to reading the next book. (2017, why are you so far away? *cry face*) All in all, I'd give it a 7.5/10 stars. It was really enjoyable and fun, the writing was fantastic and the plot intriguing (as I've repeated over and over. I highly recommend this story for fans of books like Falling Kingdoms and Legacy of Kings. It's a great novel made up of a prefecture mix of fantasy and historical fiction.
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 story really didn't start to catch up until the Crown's Game began. The way the magic is described is something new that I've never read. I really enjoyed it, feeling like I can understand how it all works. And for once, I loved both protagonists. While reading this, I had this nagging feeling that they'd both survive somehow.
I was wrong.
Also while reading this I had a feeling that Vika would win the Crown's Game, but as I read more of Nikolai, I found I really liked him. As I've said before, who doesn't love a gentleman? Ugh, when Vika was dying from that stab wound I fully accepted her death and that Nikolai would live.
Then Nikolai died.
And I felt like I died inside.
Ugh, when Pasha made them fight to the death I felt very indignant. Somewhere along the lines of AND I THOUGHT I LIKED YOU! I know, I know, Yuliana made him, but does it look like I care for excuses, Pasha? No, I do not. Nikolai is dead, and I, along with Vika, will resent you for that until Nikolai is brought back to life in book two.
Why do I think he'll be brought back to life? A few reasons. One, it is obvious that his mother is very good at bringing things back to life. Sure, he exploded into powder, but.... IT WILL HAPPEN SOME HOW. Two? A book two without Nikolai would just be painful, I don't believe Evelyn will make us sit through a book without him. Aka without BAE. And three? I read another review that said in history, it was Nikolai who took the throne, not Pasha. Unless Evelyn wants to start a fight with historians, I believe she'd better bring him back. AH. Nikolai just needs come back to life. I just want Nikolai back. Please. Please, it's been nagging at me ever since I finished the book. I just want the second one... Please?
Alright, that's the main thing that I really wanted to discuss in the spoilery section.
My other comments were these.
Okay, at the ball, was anyone else just squealing because... feels?! No? That was just me? Okay then... Ignore that... hehe. No, but seriously, I seriously love masquerades, the romantic air about them is simply magnificent. Someone around here please throw me a masquerade so I can attend and then meet the love of my life. When Vika walked in wearing that snow dress I literally just freaked out because I was so excited. And then when Nikolai and her just danced I couldn't even because THE FEELS. THE FEELS.
The competition was amazing, I don't have much to say about it other than I loved reading about it and their crafty schemes at first to try and harm each other was fascinating. And then their moves turned into something a little less violent. Ah. The feels. I really loved this story.
And my last comment is OMG WTF NIKOLAI AND PASHA ARE BROTHERS. I was not expecting that. Ah. I want to know what would come out of that.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
P.S. My next post should be a SHOULD READS list or possibly another review- I just got more books. Guess what? The next book in the Blood of Gods and Monsters books is coming out soon!!! It's beautiful. I'm very excited.