The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
I bought this book because Evelyn Skye is amazing and we were once in an anthology together. (You can get it HERE!)
I knew going in that The Crown’s Game would be fabulous and Miss Skye did not disappoint. Everything about this book is magical, from the history to the game to every lurid creation whisked to life by our beloved main characters.
Sitting on the brink of war, the Tsar is forced to call upon the game, and bring two enchanters forward to battle with magic. He needs to know which enchanter will best serve him in war. Each of them receives a set number of turns to “impress him.” At the end of the game, the loser will die. The game’s theme revolves around the Tsar’s son, Pasha, as a celebration of his birthday.
Each enchanter is powerful and has trained their entire lives to serve the Tsar. Vika is a wild streak. She’s stubborn, determined, and ferocious. Nikolai is more reserved, his magic subtler, but just as formidable. One sure way to end the game is to kill your opponent. Vika and Nikolai plan to do just that…but things never go according to plan, do they? What ensues is a glorious battle, each “turn” more ostentatious—and deadlier—than the last.
The Crown’s Game has a little bit of everything. Mystery, magic, romance, loss, and a stunning betrayal that leaves the reader desperate for the sequel. I can’t help but think all of this will transfer amazingly to film. The city, the clothes, the magic.
As for what I didn’t like…there wasn’t enough time to truly get to know our characters. They fall so quickly in love with each other that we don’t get to know Vika or Nikolai as individuals. As rich as the setting and magic was, the characters were a bit flat and hard to warm up to. I hope the coming sequels will flesh them out.
Overall, this was a stunning debut from Evelyn Skye!
-Magic was awesome!
-Lacked in character development
-Made up for it with beautiful description