Magic and Sankt Peterburg – The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

“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?”

The Crown´s Game is a book you will have no problem to read in one sitting. It will be a problem NOT to read it in one sitting. Its atmosphere is absolutely magical and if you are a fan of the Night Circus, Caraval or Heartless, you need this book, too.

From the start, the book is quite predictable, which is a bummer. It even uses some tropes and clichés, which I am sure prompted many readers to throw it in the corner (in the better cases) or in the trash (in worst cases. please don´t). Which would be a mistake, because after couple of pages (and by couple I mean like 50) the story really picks up, everything starts to make sense and you can´t really predict what will happen next.

The Crown´s Game is a book you will have no problem to read in one sitting. It will be a problem NOT to read it in one sitting. Its atmosphere is absolutely magical and if you are a fan of the Night Circus, Caraval or Heartless, you need this book, too.

From the start, the book is quite predictable, which is a bummer. It even uses some tropes and clichés, which I am sure prompted many readers to throw it in the corner (in the better cases) or in the trash (in worst cases. please don´t). Which would be a mistake, because after couple of pages (and by couple I mean like 50) the story really picks up, everything starts to make sense and you can´t really predict what will happen next.

But honestly, side characters were even better. My favourite was Galina, the patron of Nikolai (because the dude was poor AF). She is this very bitchy and annoying middle-aged woman, a total diva, she only cares about herself, but she doesn´t even lie about that. I low-key imagined her as Mariah Carey.

For many readers the most problematic part of the book was the romance. I will be honest with you, we do have some sort of instalove here. BUT it is not a main part of the story and it is not overdone. It is also mainly platonic. There is no “oh my god I love you so much, marry me, let´s have kids and name then Leia and Luke, I am so glad we met  minutes ago, omg soulmates” No. It is more like “Hmmm… You are cute, I kind of like you and I´d be happier if you didn´t have to die”. The romantic storyline is very subtle and I hate romantic storylines, so trust me, this one is not that bad. But there is also another cliché – love triangle. I tend to hate this trope so much, but again, it was not a huge part of the story, nor was it intense. Would I prefer if it wasn´t there at all? Yes. Did it ruin the book? No. There you have it.

 

Overall, this book surprised me. If you tend to enjoy some atmospheric YA here and there, this one has great set of characters, who you will get attached to (there is even this zombie character, which is straight out of a horror movie, but also kind of badass, but also disgusting… you will see), The Crown´s Game is a way to go. (Also, if you order the cheap paperback from bookdepository, it is floppy, I repeat, the paperback is floppy).

 

Rating: 4.5/5

Favourite character: Galina

Favourite quote:  “His laugh echoed through the entire room. He didn’t sound cruel, but then again, the worst kinds of cruelty come in the guise of kindness.”

 

————————–Andrea——————————-

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