The Crown’s Game By Evelyn Skye
First book in The Crown’s Game Series
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
Wow, another book that I should have read sooner. Although it looks like it took some time to finish I was just actually unable to read anything because of bad time management. This was part of the book of the month I read for an instagram june foto challenge. Regardless I loved this book..a lot. The concept, character and even plot was amazing. I really do wish I had read this at the beginning of the year like I had first planned but hey better late than never right. Any who let’s go straight in to the review.
Magic:The whole fantasy magic thing with this one was incredible !I loved the way they both had very different magic compared to each other. One was what you would think of with traditional magic and the other not really. Vika’s skill with the elements and the traditional enchanter things one would think about was incredible. AND THEN Nikolai’s magic, the whole mechanical aspect of it is not something that you would really considered but turned out surprisingly well.
World: I loved that it took place in Russia I feel like a lot of books either take place in an unnamed place or an original kingdom. Although I do feel like I now have to go look up some stuff that was referenced in the book. I don’t know much about Russia, so for a person who’s has limited knowledge over the history and the land I feel like I got a good idea the place the Skye had her story take place. Unlike some books I’ve read that only give a few details about the setting that you end up forgetting things like the type of land and climate I was really satisfied with this.
Characters: I loved the multiple points of views. I normally hate this because you start developing a bias to a certain character and when you go to the point of view of another character you don’t like then the story kind of drags. Yet with this story I felt that Skye did an amazing job. No character felt to dull nor just annoying. The moments that she chose to make the transitions from characters were also really well-timed and very sooth. You really get attach to all characters and that kind helps you understand them and their actions. You get to see from one character the stupid thing they do and almost immediately get to see what was going on in the others person head. Which I really Loved! Vika and Nikolai were both amazing main characters that really grew up a lot through out this book. AND THE SIDE CHARACTERS Pasha, Renata, Galina, Sergei and Ludmila were as important and unforgettable. I hate most stories were they have side characters but rarely talk about them and the importance they have to the main characters and plot. While we also got the Tsar, the Tsarina and Yuliana. Equally important although seen a lot less, were also characters a bit hard to forget…..ok maybe at times I forgot about the Tsarina but I think based on the time and her current condition that was the point.
Romance: So i really do feel that chemistry thing between the two main characters and they are definitely added to my endless list of OTPs. I really love how they just felt this whole spark in finding someone they could relate to and be themselves around. Even though them staying as friends would have been ok too.
The Ending: So be warned if you do plan to read this and know that it has a cliffhanger ending. Which is something I did not know and wish I had because now I need to wait to read the next one. All I have to say is that the ending is really heart pounding and just….. WAS THAT FREAKING ENDING NECESSARY?!?!?! THAT WAS TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR!!! IM STILL CRYING. It was honestly a really good ending by itself. Meaning had this been a sand alone it would have been..ok. Yet it does leave you craving for more. And if it had been a stand alone I would have cried…..again.
Magic: Although I do understand why I still do feel like we were left hanging on the whole thing with the game. Like manly its history and how it really works. I understand how it was based on the limited knowledge the characters had but I do want more. You never know Skye could make a prequel or a book dedicated to the rules. I think that would be fun and something a lot of us would appreciate.
Romance: Ok so before you say anything about how I said I loved it hear me out. I did love the kinda romance the main characters had going on but we also had a love triangle. Yes another one. I get it. They are popular and work but can we please stop using the same thing so many times. Another thing was that although I do get and love how the romance worked, I do agree with Nikolai in how they know nothing about each other. Yeah I know my rational side is just a darling don’t you think. Meaning I would have been completely ok if they had all ended up as friends rather than this complicated mess. Yet there would be no sequel if there is no mess.
Although I did not completely annotate this book I did make sm markings to a few of my favorite lines. So enjoy. Though be aware spoiler warnings are in position.
The only thing “normal” about Vika was her dress, the pretty (albeit rumpled) green gown her father insisted she wear whenever she went into town—minus the dreadful yellow ribbon that cinched her waist too tightly, which she’d rather conveniently “lost” in Preobrazhensky Creek.-page 1 Vika
It could have been improved, however, with a ribbon around its waist. Preferably in yellow.-page 80 Nikolai
Ok so this made me laugh because when Nikolai meets Vika and comments on her dress this is the very thing he mentions. I found it very clever on Skye’s part to mention this.
“Or perhaps the answer is that I’m simply a brilliant escape artist. Now come on. Are you going to let me up? Or are we going to Romeo-and-Juliet the night away?” Pasha smirked.
Nikolai looked at his own position, like Juliet perched on her balcony, and then at Pasha on the street below. “Oh, be quiet. You’re the one who came romancing at my window,” he said, but he stood up and curtsied. “My room is a mess, Romeo. Give me a minute, and I shall come down.”-page 126
This was just really funny and random
*SPOILER*“Now go upstairs and change.”
Pasha looked up from the carpet. “What? Why?”
“For a multitude of reasons, the foremost being that you have already been seen in that ridiculous costume, so if you march in as an angel now, the whole of Saint Petersburg’s nobility will know that you had previously slunk among them, unannounced, like a gutter rat. And also, your costume is unbecoming for a man of your station.”
“But it’s a masquerade. . . .” Pasha’s voice wilted. There was no fighting the will of the tsar, and he knew it. He had always known it, which was why he tried to live so much of his life when his father was not looking.
“It is a masquerade for all of them.” The tsar flung his hand in the direction of the ballroom doors. “But it is an imperial state function for you.”
This was when I just freaking thought I would start sobbing. The way Pasha is treated is just horrifying and cruel. Pasha already doesn’t want to become Tsar now with this?*SPOILER END*
Vika paused at the top of the ballroom stairs, not because she wanted everyone’s attention, but because she had no idea what to do or where to go next. She was already self-conscious that they were so late—creating the gowns for Ludmila and herself had taken a great deal longer than she had hoped it would—and now it was evident that they had arrived well after the imperial family. Even a country girl who knew nothing of the rules of Saint Petersburg society could deduce that was an insult. Please, please don’t let the tsar hold it against me. She did not want him to declare a winner—and loser—tonight.-page 209
I loved how we got to see deeper into Vika and she is not that perfect girl who everyone thinks she is. She makes mistakes and is really more than just an enchantress.
*SPOILER*“You love me, so you’re going to kill me?”
“I love you,” Nikolai said, “so I want you to live.”
“I don’t underst—”
“Galina said this knife would never miss.” He pointed the dagger at his chest. “This is my fifth move.”
No, he couldn’t mean to— “Nikolai! Stop!”
Vika lunged and threw a wave of magic at him.
But he was too quick. He thrust the knife deep into himself. It plunged up under his ribs on a direct path to his heart.-PAGE 385
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS!?!?!? this freaking book was just plot twist after plot twist but this, oh this takes the cake. You hear that? its my heart breaking. I would have posted the whole thing but I think you get the idea. This was just so wrong and not ok. HOW COULD YOU SKYE?!?!? Uncalled for is all I can say
Oh yes The Crown’s Game. Just an innocent book that everyone should read. To live the amazing magic of these enchanters as they live through one of the hardest game of their life. The twist plot twist. The history. The love. The magic. In the end so worth it. So join the club and read this book. Officially now one of my top reads of the year.