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 #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17, 2016
Source: the publisher
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.
Find out more about The Crown's Game and the Pre-order here!
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (May 17, 2016, Balzer + Bray) I absolutely LOVED this book, so, I’m BEYOND excited to be a part of this blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review!
The Crown’s Game was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and it definitely did NOT disappoint! If anything, it exceeded my expectations – by a LOT. The characters were amazing, the writing was epic and the plot was filled with magic and mayhem.
Vika was powerful and confident in her abilities. She reminded me a LOT of Alina from the Grisha trilogy. But her confidence made her a bit careless – made her feel she was a shoe-in as The Imperial Enchanter. She never even considered that there might be another enchanter out there who could best her. I loved her command of the elements, though. That was pretty awesome!
Being an orphan who had to fight for everything made Nikolai strong and determined. He has every reason to fight and win – and every reason to fear losing. The way his story ended though… HOLY CRAP!!! I did NOT expect what happened to happen! And I can’t wait to see how it’s resolved in the second book!
I really liked Pasha. He reminded me of Charles in Reign. He’ll do his duty, but he’d rather not. He’s a bit aloof. There were some moments near the middle/end where he was really awful and it really upset me, but looking back, I understand why he behaved that way and what caused him to behave that way, so I feel like I kind of forgive him now. Sort of. He still needs to earn back his brownie points!
I loved the way Vika and Nikolai one-upped each other with their powers. It’s like magical banter and more hilarious than verbal banter could have been. I definitely shipped them a LOT, but not in the beginning. Only because I actually really loved the idea of Vika and Pasha together and I shipped them until the half-way point in the book, roughly.
Plus, at times, I seriously shipped Nikolai and Renata. Their relationship gave me major Kaz/Inej feels. So when I was shipping them, it was easy to forget about my Nikolai/Vika feels. But really, I think I’d be happy with any combination of Vika/Nikaolai, Vika/Pasha, Nikolai/Renata. 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!
Yuliana was wise and stubborn. She’s outspoken, but she knows just the right thing to say to make every outspoken thing she says count. Also, the fact that Yuliana can handle the viciousness of the Game with a “fierce and wistful,” smile makes me just a touch afraid of her! She can also be incredibly convincing, borderline manipulative. I think she means well, but she’s steadfast in her loyalty to her country and she’ll do whatever she has to to ensure its safety, even if it means her brother’s well-being is secondary.
In two weeks, I’ll be posting for my stop on the Tsar’s Guard Parade blog tour. My post includes five random thoughts that I had while reading The Crown’s Game. I don’t want to go into too much detail on those points now because I don’t want to get repetitive. But I’ll briefly mention them here: If you were a fan of the Grisha trilogy, I HIGHLY recommend The Crown’s Game! Also, if you loved A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray! Are you a fan of Anastasia? Because I had SO MANY ANASTASIA FEELS!!! So if you love Anastasia, that’s another incentive to read The Crown’s Game right there! Finally, if you’re a fan of Fairy Tales (specifically Russian ones), there are several Fairy Tale references in The Crown’s Game! So that makes it a MUST READ for Fairy Tale fans!
This book is a FAST read, mostly because once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down! I read the first 315 pages in 13 hours, with breaks only for food and to take care of my dog! Every time I thought “one more chapter,” I ended up desperate to see what happened next. The pacing was always on point, never slowing.
Near the end, my state of mind/statuses/comments dissolved into a lot of “OMG” and “WTF” and “!!!!!!!!!!!” My poor heart just couldn’t handle all the revelations, twists and unexpected craziness! And then the ending (like, the absolute ending) was… Holy amazeballs!!! So intense and epic and WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK SO EARLY?!?! NOW THE WAIT UNTIL BOOK TWO IS EVEN LONGER!!!! GAH!!! I NEEDS IT!!!
Anyway, if you couldn’t tell from my review (Um. Seriously?), I LOVED this book. I don’t even think “loved” is a strong enough word. It’s absolutely one of my top favorite reads for 2016 (and it’s only March!!) and I HIGHLY recommend it! Seriously! Add it to your TBR! If you have an ARC, READ IT NOW! It’s amazing and I’ll definitely be pushing it on as many people as I possibly can! Evelyn Skye is an amazing writer and story teller and I absolutely can’t wait for book two (and what a long wait that will be.. SOBS!)!!! I also can’t wait to see what else she writes outside of the Crown’s Game world. She’s definitely a debut author to keep your eye on!
And now for the giveaway! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!
About the Author:
Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel.
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Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle – Review + Pinterest Boards
Tuesday, March 1: One Less Lonely Blog – Review
Wednesday, March 2: It Starts at Midnight – Review
Thursday, March 3: Stories & Sweeties – Review + Russian Tea Cake Recipe
Friday, March 4: The YA Book Traveler – Review + Dreamcast & Book Trailer
Saturday, March 5: Pandora’s Books – Review
Sunday, March 6: Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
Monday, March 7: Out Of Time – Review + Song
Tuesday, March 8: Book Nerd Addict – Review + Favorite Quotes
Wednesday, March 9: Paper Fury – Review + Reasons to Read This Book!
Thursday, March 10: A Reader Under The Sea – Cover Recreation
Friday, March 11: The Broke and the Bookish – Review