RATING: A GOOD Russian fantasy (3/5) // AMAZON
Pages: 416 pages | Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: ebook | Source: Bought | Age Group: Young Adult
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.
Although I only got the ebook copy of The Crown’s Game, there is no denying that this cover is beautiful. It turns Russia’s historic palace into a crown, which nicely ties in the cover and plot. It’s simple yet very intricate.
A historical fantasy set in Russia and an ancient duel between enchanters and a possible romance between the unlikely competitors… Yes, I’m definitely interested. Although I had high expectations for this book, they were never fully met. That being said, I did enjoy The Crown’s Game, but it wasn’t the kind of book that I’d stay up till 3:00 am to finish.
While I found the plot intriguing, I was never completely sucked into the world of The Crown’s Game. The story is told in multiple POVs of mainly Vika and Nikolai. Vika is the enchantress who has an affinity with nature, Nikolai is the orphan boy who has trained all his life to become the imperial enchanter and is the best friend of the crown prince, and Pasha is the free-spirited heir to the throne. I really wanted to like these characters, but I didn’t feel fully invested in any of them. And that is a huge part of me in liking a book. I need to feel connected to the characters, but I felt like there was some distance between myself and the characters while reading.