Series: The Crown's Game #1
Published on May 17th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Young Adult
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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.
This has been one of my most anticipated books of 2016 after I heard about it and having read it the sequel is my most anticipated book whenever it comes out! OMG AMAZING! I was completely blown away by this story and everything in it. Enchanters and magic, secret games, murder plots, a beautiful and amazing world, political intrigue, strong characters and lots of feels galore. It had everything.
We follow several characters but the primaries are Vika and Nikolai our tow enchanters and Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne. Vika has grown up away from everything only training to one day be the Imperial Enchanter, never knowing that she would have to battle it out for the position. Nikolai however has known he would have to play a game for the roll but even he didn’t know how series the stakes were. Death for one. These are serious stakes. More so when overtime all three form a connection of sorts. It’s not easy to kill someone you don’t know but to kill someone you care for seems impossible. As a reader it was difficult knowing one was meant to die, trying to figure out as I read who I liked more so I wouldn’t get too attached to the wrong one but it was hopeless as I didn’t want either to die!
I really enjoyed getting to know all the different characters and how they have different quirks about themselves. From the mains to the supporting characters who played just as big of a part. From their mentors or servants and bakers to the Tsar and royal family themselves each one plays a part and they are introduced for a reason but I never felt like they were only there to move the story along each one felt natural and purposeful. The friendships and relationships between the different characters both good and bad were deep. My favorite being the friendship between Nikolai and Pasha! Those two were so on point and just a ying and yang of one another in the perfectly balance way.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
“Quoting Shakespeare won’t sway me, Nikolai.”
The world is so beautiful and while I have never been to Russia I felt like I have seen a piece of it. A piece of history wrapped up in magic and wonder. The scenes described where so real, my favorite parts involved benches. Vivid and miraculous to say the least. The magic of the world was explained in a way that I understood but I see room for more to be explained through the series as we discovered new information, from nymphs and healers and more.
The Crown’s Game had a bit of everything in it and I highly recommend it because I need people to talk to about it! Everything tied in nicely from the romance to the political aspects to the game itself. The game was not what I originally expected a battle between the two in the traditional sense but a competition which I liked a bit better having finished it, with the tasks which pulled you into each page imagining each one as they played out. The book is impossible to put down and quick to fly through IMHO!
There’s nothing else I can say without giving away some spoilers which I just can’t bring myself to do because uncovering it all is half the fun. I do recommend this and would love to hear what everyone thinks of this. I know I’m ready for book two already!
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