Debbie's World of Books
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Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

June 4th, 2016 by Debbie's World of Books

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Source: Received for review

Publication date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book:

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.

My Review:

When I first heard about this book I was so excited. I am a huge fan of Russian history even having taken Russian as my language in school, a Russian history class in high school and another Russian politics class in college. So combine the Russian history background with magic and romance and I am instantly adding the book to my TBR list.

The idea of enchanters who help protect the imperial family was great and it reminded of the mystic, Rasputin, and the rumors of who he really was to the tsarina. I had a feelings once we knew there were two possible enchanters, one being male and the other female, that we would seem a star-crossed romantic relationship. I had no problem with that and I actually really loved Nikolai and Vika. I was rooting for there to be a way they could both win and end up being together.

What did ruin the story for me was the third wheel in this romance love triangle, the Tsesarevich Pasha. His insta-love with Vika grated on my nerves and seemed thrown in just to create drama and to bring the story to a crescendo. He has barely even spoken to Vika and fancies himself in love with her and then is angry when Nikolai also admits to loving Vika. Pasha’s character also irritated me because he was basically a spoiled brat in many senses. Yes, I appreciated that he was sympathetic to the peasants lot in life but other than that he makes no effort to try and learn to become a better tsar so he can help these people. He avoids responsibility at every turn, throws a temper tantrum when he feels betrayed by Nikolai and Vika and then tries to blame his actions on other people. I felt like slapping him around a few times to tell him to grow up and take responsibility for his own actions.

I felt if the love triangle aspect had been left out this could have been an amazing book. It would have left more time for Nikolai and Vika’s romance to develop and to build up the tension as the two must come to terms with their feelings and their situation.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

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