(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)on May 16, 2017
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
I have been waiting for The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye for at least a year and I have to admit, I basically confiscated this book from my sister once it came to our house. The first book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I was so excited to dive into this book. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone so if you haven’t read The Crown’s Game yet, stop here and go read it.
The Crown’s Fate picks up shortly after book one and like Vika, I was pretty mad at Pasha. Because of the game, Vika doesn’t really have a choice around what she does for Pasha and Yuliana. We find out pretty quickly…right alongside Vika, that if she doesn’t do as ordered, the magic will punish her. Now on top of her anger at Pasha around what happened at the end of the game, Vika is basically robbed of her free will to decide what actions she will take in support of Pasha.
As Pasha prepares to become Tsar, he is clearly struggling with who he is and how he will lead the people of Russia. His sister, Yuliana, knows Russia and always seems to know what to do and Pasha doesn’t have the confidence she does which causes him to question his ability to lead. With that said, Pasha is loved by the people and when he finally does step up and decides he is the right person to lead, he shows his strength.
Now…I loved Nicolai. I still love Nicolai but he was really hard to support in this book. If you recall the end of book one, he basically gave up his life to Vika so she would survive the game. Well he didn’t die…instead he became a shadow and is living in the scene he created in the Kazakh steppe. When his mother, Aizhanna, comes to see him there, she tries to convince him to steal energy from the visitors so he can come back. When he refuses, she pushes her energy into him and that is the start of this new, darker Nicolai. As Nicolai comes back, he decides he is going to fight Pasha for the throne and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
It is clear, Aizhanna’s energy is making Nicolai act like someone he is not. His anger and his distrust in Vika and Pasha make him do things I never thought he would do. As we get the different perspectives in the book, it is obvious that Vika wants to do whatever she can to save Nicolai and help him get back to who he was before the game. Unfortunately, Nicolai doesn’t see her actions that way and he immediately thinks she has chosen Pasha over him…which only makes him angrier.
I loved how Skye tied all their stories together and also the way she twisted up the magic in this book. When it was introduced to the people, they weren’t as accepting and eventually, because of Nicolai, the people were frightened and a danger to Vika. As the story moves forward and Pasha realizes what supporting magic has done, he does something that I never expected and I have to admit, I was surprised that Vika didn’t have a bigger negative reaction when he did it. I KNOW – Don’t hate me for how vague that statement is…I don’t want to give it away but trust me, when you get to this part, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
The secondary characters were definitely important to the story and helped move everything along. Aizhanna, Yuliana, Ludmila, Renata, and the Decemberists (to call out a few) all played key roles in the story and I enjoyed how Skye linked them into the lives of Nicolai, Pasha, and Vika.
Overall I was happy with the story and the way it wrapped up. I thought Skye left it open-ended enough to let the reader decide what would happen next but she also brought the story to an appropriate conclusion. I definitely look forward to whatever is coming next from Evelyn Skye as she did such a great job creating a story that combined magic, friendship, and family all while keeping the historical feel to the story. If you are looking for something to read, consider checking out this book / series.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy.