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.
I finally dived into Evelyn Skye's The Crown's Game when I luckily won a copy of the next book! Yay binge reading!! I have to say that The Crown's Game was unlike any book I've read before and it's definitely a good thing!
Nikolai and Vika are enchanters which basically means they have magical abilities. They have been training for the day when they would become the tsar's personal enchanter. But then it's learned that they are in fact two enchanters in the country and only one can be the tsar's enchanter. And because this is fantasy, the loser will be killed! It's explained why it must be this way in the book, but as I was dealing with some pretty intense pain earlier this week when I started the book, I can't tell you what that reasoning is. Lol. Sorry!
Nikolai and Vika are basically to show off their powers in a series of five events each. Whoever does the best "trick" will get to be the enchanter for the tsar. Whether there's truly to be a "death match" like I initially thought, was a bit unclear. Again, unbearable pain kept me from fully comprehending some tidbit that may or may not have been mentioned in regards to rules.
While watching these two perform amazing feats was rather interesting, I found I enjoyed their personal stories a lot more! Nikolai is an orphan who doesn't know his parents, he was told his mother died and his father is basically a mystery. He was raised by his "teacher" of sorts who's been training him for this day all his life practically. His best friend, Pasha, just happens to be the next in line to the throne of the tsar, but Pasha doesn't know Nikolai's secret. Then we have Vika, who was raised by her father as her mother died when she was young. She too has been training for the day she would work for the tsar.
When the two meet you almost expect there to be a big on brawl or perhaps even declarations of love, and yet neither of these things happen, which in itself was surprising. Neither Nikolai or Vika really has a vicious heart. They both just want to survive and the thought of killing the other doesn't sit well with them. What will eventually happen? Well, that's part of the mystery!
And did I mention that there is actually more of a mystery going on here? Well, there is! Or rather, there's some definite secrets that are going on. And there are multiple ones. And they involve both Nikolai and Vika! What this will mean for the next book has me rushing through theories so fast that none are really sticking.
As far as romance goes, we have quite the doozie of a love complication! Like legit love complication! Sure there may be something between our heroes, Nikolai and Vika, but then Pasha starts to crush on Vika and it seems someone else is crushing on Nikolai! What will happen come the end of this series is anyone's guess!
Waiting to read this series back to back was perhaps the best decision ever because let me tell you, there's one heck of a cliffhanger at the end of this one! How any of you guys were able to cope after that one and waiting a year for the next is beyond me! Though, of course, I do this to myself in other series too, and yeah, coping is reallly hard!! Lol!
The Crown's Game is a fresh, unique, and magical tale that will open your eyes to a whole other Russia! It's very language will have you enthralled and the characters are sure to warm their way into your hearts! This is a read that should be devoured in one piece...and then to quickly move onto the sequel! Lol!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars