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.
From the moment I heard about The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye I needed to have this book! If you love the mix of magic, friendship, and romance, you should go get this book now. Add in the fact that the cover is perfect for the story and so, so pretty and I think you will want this!
One of the main things that drew me in was the Russian influence and the idea that there are only 2 enchanters in the whole country. Because of a decision the current Tsar has made, the enchanter’s fates are changed and they have to make choices around what happens even though there may not really be a “right” choice. Once the Tsar has activated the game, the enchanters have to meet the requirements and the end result means only one of them will survive to become the Imperial Enchanter and an advisor to the Tsar.
As the story begins we are introduced to the main characters, Vika and Nikolai and before the game kicks off, we get to learn a bit about their backgrounds and how they ended up where they are today. I loved getting a glimpse of who and how they were raised as it plays a part in how they both engage in the game.
I loved both Vika and Nikolai and they are put in a pretty impossible situation. They both approach the game with confidence but as they learn more about each other not only through their interactions but also through their magic, they start to realize that they will need to figure out just how “in the game” they will be. The development of their friendship/relationship was fantastically done and I loved every minute of it.
The secondary characters were well developed and really helped to push the story forward. Both Vika and Nikolai have people they rely on as the game progresses as both are without their mentors. Renata, Pasha, Ludmila, Yuliana all had key roles in the story. Pasha is the son of the Tsar but he is also Nikolai’s best friend. Both his friendship with Nikolai and his attraction to Vika provide some twists to the story and when the secret of the game is revealed to Pasha, things change for everyone. Ludmila was wonderful. I loved her relationship with Vika and the interactions she had with Pasha were always entertaining.
Skye has done a fantastic job developing the world these characters live in. When she adds in the magic that both Vika and Nikolai create within the world, it gets even better. I loved seeing what they would each come up with in the game.
Here is where I talk about how the ending KILLED ME!! I have no idea what to expect in the next book of this series but I may have cursed Skye a little bit and referred to her as “evil”. Don’t let that scare you off. I really did enjoy this book and absolutely will be lobbying everyone I possibly can to get my hands on the next book as soon as I possibly can because there are so many questions I have around what will happen next.
That’s it friends! I know I haven’t given you a ton of detail (on purpose) but it’s because I want you to experience all the things that happen as you read. Spoilers are the worst! Just trust me, if you love fantasy, you should consider grabbing this book. I was thoroughly impressed with Skyes’ debut and look forward to more from her.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!