Review | what is worth winning ‘The Crown’s Game’? | by Evelyn Skye

“As for whether the magic in The Crown’s Game is real, well . . . that depends. Do you believe in what you cannot see?”




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.


Edition: Hardcover

Publishing Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Fantasy (Magic), Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance

ISBN: 0062422588 (ISBN13: 9780062422583)

Goodreads Rating: 3.85

My Rating: 4.40



oh boy. I was not ready for this book.

I wrote the initial review for this book while I was out of town because i just REALLY needed to get it out of my system.


First of all, I thought this book was high fantasy which was my reason for always saving it for another time since I wasn’t feeling it. Then one day I was bored and just picked this up from the shelf, not even remembering what the synopsis said or even the plot. I read the teaser at the start and told myself that it seems interesting. Then I read the first paragraph and then just got completely hooked. Like sat and read without looking up for about two hours then realizing how long I’ve been reading. . . then proceeded to continue reading.


“Nothing is more remote than yesterday;
nothing is closer than tomorrow.”



I liked how evident the Russian culture was. It appeased me. The author said that she spent a lot of time researching and let me tell you, YOU CAN REALLY SEE IT. And it paid off so well in the end because it gave the book a more authentic feel.Okay now, I am pretty much a sucker for Russia myths and whatnot since reading the Shadow and Bone trilogy. And I was not immune to the charms of this book either.



~ Though it was not perfect, the elements were blended just right. It’s fast paced but not too fast that you won’t be confused (and note that I divulged myself in this book in less than 24 hours). The fantasy part was not my favorite but when mixed with the stunning writing of the love story, I learned to appreciate it more. It still blew me away because this world still had its own uniqueness and I just fell in love. The timeline of the progression for the love story WAS ABSOLUTELY ON POINT. I want to just curl up in those precious, romantic moments.


I LOVE NIKOLAI !! (that name still triggers me)






~ FUN FACT: I had no idea who was going to end up together until halfway, as a romance reader I have a radar and this is the first time in a very long time that I doubted my tracking abilities. That is a sign of a really great romance brewing. I had no idea who was going to end up with who because I also realized that I do not remember the synopsis. And honestly, it was so much more fun trying to figure it out.


Aside from that, my other favorite thing in this story are the relationships between the two pairs of siblings in the story: Seige & Galina, and Pasha & Yulina. It’s what I know to be realistic for siblings in real life and relatable relationships for those who don’t have siblings or unlike these type of siblings. I just felt sort of in awe of them.



~ I did start to realize however that the story was starting to go downhill about midway in the book. Which was sad to see given a beautiful introduction. I was also confused on the rules of the ACTUAL game.

They never did write the actual rules. It wasn’t even explicitly stated or said. You just sort of had to figure it out on your own which made the overall plot a bit messy. This could have been so much deeper on a fantasy level.



~ It’s very much underrated and I would recommend this to more readers.

I enjoyed it immensely. Though I wished it would have been more consistent, it was no less beautiful to me. It was a lighter type of magical fantasy that revolved more on romance and familial love.

Not hardcore fantasy, more subtle. Nevertheless, still incredibly magical.


“Imagine, and it shall be.

There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”


I recommend this for readers who are into magic, romance and royalties put into one novel. I am trash for these books, and I love it. I live for those small, precious moments. No regrets going into this.







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