May 13, 2016 by ceresbooksworld
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Book one in The Crown’s Game series
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Source: eArc from the Publisher
Rating: 4,5 hearts
Synopsis (from goodreads)
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 takes place in Russia where two enchanters will fight for the Tsar in The Crown’s Game. Russian doesn’t know magic exist at this period.
In this game each enchanters have five turns to impress the Tsar and in the end the Tsar will design a winner. This enchanter will have a great position in the Tsar’s entourage; he will keep him sage and be a great advisor.
Vika is a young enchanter, she lives with her father and her only purpose in life is to be The Tsar’s Enchanter. She’s disappointed when she discovered that she’s not the only one enchanter. She also learns that there will be a game to decide who will win and who will die. I like her; she does and says what she wants, when she wants. She’s not afraid of the Tsar, she’s smart and her imagination has no limit. She’s also arrogant, she knows she’s the best and doesn’t see her weakness. She loves her father deeply and she also loves Ludmilla. I think she’s an interesting character because of her principles, they are put in question at the end of the book and I’m impatient to see what Evelyn’s reserves to us in the next book.
Nicolai is the second enchanter; he is a Kazakh and was taken from his tribe when he was young to be train as an enchanter. His magic isn’t the same as Vika but his magic is beautiful. What can I say, I love Nicolai, and he’s smart, kind, gentleman and loving. I love his ideas for the game and his friendship with Pasha is great. He can be brutal with Vika but I love the fact that regrets made their apparition each times. I’m impatient to see what will happen with him in the next installment.
Pasha is the future Tsar, he is Nicolai best friend and he doesn’t know anything about magic, even less that Nicolai is an enchanter. He loves woman and he loves more than anything run away from the castle and travel the city incognito. I don’t really like him but I let you see by yourself.
The other characters are interesting but not so present; Renata and Ludmila are the ones who stay near the enchanters during the game. Sergei and Galina are the enchanter’s mentors and I like Sergei but Galina is a bitch. Yuliana is Pasha’s sister, she strong and she have the thing in her to be Tsar, except that she’s a woman, so she will help her brother the best she can.
I really love the evolution of the relation between Vika and Nicolai, they are great together, it’s a weird relation because it begins with the game but the more they are involve the more they attract each other. The trust is not here and I can’t imagine what it would be to be attracted by a person who in the end must die.
The relation between Pasha and Nicolai is interesting too, they are friend but Nicolai has a secret and the fact that Pasha want to know everything about Vika is not helping.
For me The Crown’s Game don’t have a love triangle, I don’t see it like that, it barely have a romance at all.
Evelyn’s writing style is good, she has created some great characters that I love or don’t like, and there isn’t one I hate totally. The plot is good and the character’s reactions seem real.
This book is an instalment; it’s about discovering the characters and learning to love them. The start is very slow, it’s a good reading but I think that I wanted more, mostly after all the great things I read or heard about The Crown’s Game. But I will definitely read the next book because the last part of the book was so intense that it’s keep me reading until the end.
Quick Word: This book was pleasant with a wonderful setting in Russia and a very slow romance.
About the author
Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. She is the author of the forthcoming novel THE CROWN’S GAME (HarperCollins/B+B, May 2016) and its sequel (HarperCollins/B+B, Summer 2017). When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies.