Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Reviewed by: Madison
What to Expect: A gripping story of magic and romance set in a fantasy world based on the Romanov’s Russia.
Plot: 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 initiated the Crown’s Game, a duel of magical skill—and 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 a 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.
Review: This is a story of romance, magic, and royalty. Skye puts your right in the mix of Romanov Russia and adds a magical element. I haven’t found a book since Harry Potter that conveys magic so well and Skye really took the time to understand her complex world. But there is a lot of teenage romantic angst going on entangled with magic. For anyone who is a fan of the instalove/love triangle tropes this is definitely for you. Skye worked in the romance tastefully without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary details. As she weaves her tale the ending really hit me. You can expect certain things to happen. But I couldn’t put my finger directly on it. I cried. Now I have to wait for the next book in the series to come out!
What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: It has a slow start. Skye really gives you time to build characters and understand them more by switching through about four different point of views in the beginning. Once you get over that hump I think the book is amazing.
What you will love: I am obsessed with historical fiction. So this book is in it’s own lane with being historical fiction with a unique telling of a Romanov family. Also, if you love a good romance this story this will keep you on the edge of your seat. The pacing, which could be an issue for some people, really helped me savor the words and take my time reading.
This book is definitely an 8/10 and I cannot wait to read the next one.
Madison is our newest reviewer here at Binge on Books! When not working on her own first novel, she loves reading YA & Fantasy and listening to podcasts.
You can get in touch with her on Twitter: @MPMarkerWrites