I’ve spent my entire life scrambling to fit in and to change myself, Vika, but where I’ve belonged, and who I needed to be, has been right here the whole time.
I recently participated in a read along of The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye hosted by Brittany’s Book Rambles. Guys, this book was soooo good. I finished it in the middle of the night and I was a mess after but I loved every second of it.
The Crown’s GAme (The Crown’s GAme #1) by Evelyn Skye
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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.
Imperial Russia? Magic? Cute boys? Ferocious ladies? Check, check, CHECK. When Brittany told me about this book I knew immediately that I had to read it. As someone who loves Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy I had to give The Crown’s Game a shot. Y’all. I am so glad I did.
The Crown’s Game follows two enchanters, Vika and Nikolai, as they compete in the Crown’s Game to be the Imperial Enchanter to the tsar of Russia. The story is told in alternating POVs with glimpses into other characters’ minds as well.
I loved Vika and Nikolai. Vika is this wild, fierce enchanter. Her power is raw and natural, she’s truly a force to be reckoned with. Nikolai’s power is cosmopolitan and refined. He is a gentleman and has an eye for the small details. Naturally, I thought I was going to like Vika the best. I mean, after all who doesn’t love a strong leading female? But y’all. Nikolai stole my heart. I couldn’t wait to read more about him. His story was sad but despite all of it he grew up to be Nikolai. GUYS HE IS SO SWOONY. I can’t handle it. I was shipping Vika and Nikolai so hard.
Okay, so I won’t get too spoilery with this but the ending of this book ruined me. I was texting Brittany at 1am after I finished it because I was such mess after finishing it. I was pulling for a happy ending because hello, I’m a sucker for a HEA but this story isn’t one that was going to end with hearts and flowers and sunsets. The ending was bittersweet and haunting. I cried and raged and loved it with all of my heart. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it! Evelyn Skye’s writing is brilliant and her storytelling is entrancing. Plus, I need everyone to know about my boyfriend, Nikolai.
Have you read it? What did you think?
spoliery content below!
So, here are some screengrabs of my freakout to Brittany. Beware, it has spoilers in it!