I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Crown's Game #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 16, 2017
Source: the publisher
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
It physically pains me to write this review. I don’t WANT to be writing this review – I don’t even know how to start. Those of you who follow my blog and social media know that I LOVED The Crown’s Game SO SO much! The characters felt real, the plot was filled with magic and mayhem, and the writing was lush and gorgeous. Skye’s writing was still lush and gorgeous, but this book just… crashed and burned.
This book had hardcore Second Book Syndrome – despite being the conclusion to a duology. It was slow and it dragged and, to be painfully honest, I was bored. If this WAS book two in a trilogy, I think I could have tolerated some of what happened a lot better. But knowing it was the conclusion, it was just disappointing. I feel like nothing was accomplished in this book and there was barely a plot, more like little mini plots all strung together to scrape a second book out. It felt forced and unnecessary, and I really felt like The Crown’s Game could have just been a stand-alone.
The characters fell REALLY flat to me. Like, they were NOTHING like they were in The Crown’s Game. It felt like everyone was acting out of character in so many ways. And then there were the ships… I shipped everyone with everyone in book one. As I said in my review for The Crown’s Game, “I just had SO MANY FEELS that, honestly, any of those ships would satisfy me. Normally I’d pick an OTP for a book, but that’s impossible to do with The Crown’s Game because all the characters are so epic, I just love all the potential pairings!”
But in The Crown’s Fate? I didn’t ship ANYONE because my ships were either almost completely separated from each other throughout the book (i.e: Vika and Nikolai) OR the characters were so OUT of character, I didn’t like them enough to ship them (Nikolai with anyone). And that takes me to Nikolai and his plot.. WHAT THE ABSOLUTE EVER-LOVING EFF??? *Takes deep breaths* I just can’t. I can’t without spoilers, so I just can’t… But also that ending?!?!?!?! Vague spoilers in the next paragraph, be warned:
All was just forgiven and everyone moved on?!?!? Okay, not gonna lie, I’m happy they worked it out and it was a HEA. But it was tied up WAY too neatly and WAY too easily and there were NO consequences for ANYTHING that happened and how can that just be forgiven????? *Rips hair out!!!!*
The only thing I really liked was all the Russian myths and legends coming to life. Except that was barely mentioned and nothing came of it, so… Total let-down *Sighs.*
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book. I still LOVE The Crown’s Game, but I’m gonna pretend that it was a stand-alone and that this book never happened. I didn’t like the direction the plot (what plot?) went, and I didn’t like the totally out of character characters. I didn’t like that I had to hate characters I loved the first time around. This book was frustrating and disappointing and I seriously struggled to finish it, which is very upsetting and heartbreaking for me.
Would I recommend this book? I don’t know… I DO recommend The Crown’s Game because it was AMAZING and my opinions on The Crown’s Fate won’t change how much I love The Crown’s Game. But I don’t think I can recommend The Crown’s Fate. It was just… heartbreakingly disappointing. Then again, I’ve seen mixed reviews – people either LOVE LOVE LOVE it, or they don’t. So.. Maybe you’ll love it? Maybe I’m just in the minority with this opinion? So if you truly loved the first book, then go ahead and give this one a shot.