Review: The Crown’s Game

Book Review


26156203Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Series: The Crown’s Game Series

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publish Date: May 17th, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Historical Fiction

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.

Historical fiction and I seem to be getting along a lot better than we used to it seems, because I was absolutely enchanted (no pun intended) with this book.

The whole premise was a captivating idea indeed, and I highly recommend watching Anastasia after reading this. It just kind of makes you giggle at the things you can compare in the movie to the book. But back to the review…

I was immediately intrigued with this book. The book is written in third person, and alternates between many characters throughout the chapters, which gave it a fairly full-rounded affect. The scenes intrigued me, as did both Nikolai and Vika’s different magical talents. Their magic was very well described in the way that it could both be beautiful and destructive. I found their turns in the game to be very creative and usually with a deeper meaning, which only made it more intriguing.

Nikolai’s friendship with Pasha is one of the highlights of this story for me. I enjoy their interactions, and how Nikolai responds to Pasha in general. Pasha was a bit of a meh-ish character for me, just because of his insta-attraction to Vika. Nikolai’s connection with her at least made more sense to me. I enjoy the way Vika and Nikolai’s awareness of the other grew, though I must say the way it ended up playing out kind of shocked me in its pure cliche-ness.

The game itself and its rules were probably one of the most intriguing things for me, and one of the main reasons I was fairly captivated with this story from the start. The game was played like a chess game, in which each player took a turn at a time. For some reason (probably just because it is the post-Hunger Games era), I expected them to be running through Moscow ripping each other’s throats out, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that this was more closely based as a strategy game, not a killing spree.

One of the most enjoyable things about this book for me was truly the scenes that the author created. We have everything from a rural island to a ballroom, and a city to a peaceful garden. They were all amazing.

Now, let me rant for a moment about the ending, because even though it was cliche, the very, very, very last thing was not something I had even imagined up, and I thought I had the cat in the bag once things started going sour. I’m insanely eager to read the next book. I would definitely recommend this book for fans of magic, who can deal with a little insta-love in favor of an overall well-designed plot and amusing characters.

Categories Ratings
Plot & Premise Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)
Characters Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)witches_cauldron-2
Writing Style Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)
Romance witches_cauldron-2
Friendships Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)witches_cauldron-2

Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)Cauldron (Use for Stars)witches_cauldron-2

3.5/5 Cauldrons





I’m in love with reading, and have been since I was able to hold a book. But when I’m not reading, I’m working hard towards my other passion: Music. I play in all ensembles my school offers, and some outside of that. I’m a junior in high school, and I aspire to be a performing musician one day.

I usually stay with YA, but I’ve been known to venture into some odd areas as well. I also sometimes read younger than my level because of my middle school sibling.


2 thoughts on “Review: The Crown’s Game

  1. I hate how so many dystopian novels nowadays have become so focused on death and children killing children like the Hunger Games. That series seemed to have started a trend that’s bene nearly impossible to shake, and it’s been super annoying, especially for people like me who can’t stand the gruesome stuff, even reading about it. This one was so much better though because it went beyond just straight up killing.


    • I must completely agree. I went into this novel expecting them to literally be casting magical spells to kill each other. The way they would send hidden messages and meanings to the other blew me away. I was expecting fast-paced, cut throat action, and even though this wasn’t like that, it didn’t change the intensity of the Game at all. I was supremely impressed


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