Series: The Crown's Game #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2016)
Hardcover (399 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
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 book was amazing! I love Russian-inspired fantasy and that is actually the reason I picked up the book to begin with. I love these types of settings and The Crown’s Game was no exception.
The whole premise of the book is that Russia has two enchanters but can only have one. So the two enchanters, Vika and Nikolai, have to basically fight to the death. While it isn’t quite that overt, only one of them can survive the Crown’s Game.
Just take a moment to think about that. Two almost twenty year olds start out not even knowing each other and then having to find ways to subtly attack the other. It doesn’t help that they are a bit attracted to each other. Having to figure out a way to kill the girl/guy you like is going to put a bit of a damper on any potential relationship.
Vika is strong willed and very sure of herself. She was raised to believe she was the best and she firmly believes that. She has her own way of seeing things, especially where Nikolai is concerned.
Speaking of Nikolai, he has spent years preparing for this opportunity. He is an orphan and becoming the Imperial Enchanter would give him real status in Russia. However, he isn’t too pleased with the idea that he should bring about Vika’s death. Then again, this is what he has been trained for.
Pasha is the tsar’s heir and Nikolai’s best friend. Even with this connection, Pasha is kept mostly in the dark about the Crown’s Game, especially with the identity of the enchanters. While Pasha hasn’t always lived up to his father’s expectations, he still wants his approval.
In all, I really liked The Crown’s Game a lot. It was rather amazing. Vika is so dangerously fierce. Nikolai is such an intelligent mastermind. They both work so well together. The whole book is just… I can’t even find the right words. Just go read this book right now!