Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) by Evelyn Skye

Firstly, thanks to HarperCollins Australia for this review copy <3


Date Read: June 8 - 23 2016
Date Released: July 1st 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

"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 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."


When The Crown’s Game was first pitched to me as a Russian fantasy with an amazing love triangle between a prince, a female and male enchanter I wanted this book in my life like nothing else. The cover looked stunning and the premise had me tripping over my own feet trying to get hold of The Crown’s Game. It’s unfortunate I have to add this to the growing pile of disappointing 2016 releases.

What shits me is the book had a fantastic premise, beautiful descriptions and somewhat interesting characters but nothing ever bloody happened. The pace was so off I wanted to DNF so many times – but I soldiered on y’all. I think I deserve a gold medal for it. More than 2 freaking weeks to read this book and it put me off wanting to read altogether because I was so bored.

Vika, the female enchanter at the centre of this story is quite likeable. She’s fiery and full of passion and I liked that her emotions were always on at full force. She acted on instinct; attack first, think later. As someone who grew up on a secluded island she’s naturally slow to trust which came through in the book. I liked the way she reacted to Nikolai and the internal conflict she continually suffered as a result of the Game. Can’t say I had too many qualms with Vika.

Nikolai, too I didn’t have many problems with. Likeable dude who’s had to make his way in the world. Grown up in a home without love but he appreciates what he has and doesn’t complain being taken in by a rich woman to be trained in magic. I also like his progression through the story in regards to internal conflict after meeting Vika.

Love triangle you said. A love triangle that was well done you promised. LIES. ALL LIES. BURN THEM ALL. This was not a desirable love triangle. I felt no passion or angst or ANYTHING. It’s way too subtle and this annoyed me because I was promised a hot love triangle. It would have been way better had it not been sold to me like that. I didn’t glean romantic vibes from Vika or Nikolai for most of the book, save like this one time they properly meet. And the prince is obsessed after one sighting and it’s like whaaaaaaaaaaaat you barely know each other. I don’t buy it.

The writing faltered at the beginning but then it gets really good. Skye’s imagery is stunning and the magic she has the enchanters do is lovely and picturesque. The world building is fantastic and I could picture colourful canals, buildings with intricate columns and painted in pastel. Skye goes into a lot of detail to describe the surroundings and the imaginings of the young enchanters which I appreciated.

But see here’s my problem – the loveliness. Y’all these two are meant to be in a competition to the death. It’s meant to be magic in full force. I expected flaming swords and flying walls of sharp ice. I don’t know I think I went in with very different expectations. I couldn’t believe this was a fight to a death most of the time, more like a show of “my magic is better than yours as you can see by way of my decorating St Petersburg”.

So there’s this going back and forth as they decorate the city to impress the crown and I was bored out of my damn mind because no dire, near death situations were really happening. Or if they were, there was so much loveliness going on it got swept up under the pretty magic rug. It dragged on. And on. And on. It didn’t take long to read, but it was so slow I didn’t want to read anymore. Then the ending happened and it’s meant to be a bit of a twist and shocker but I was so groggy at this point I didn’t even care anymore. It was like yeah whatever next?

I mean if you like a really (and I mean really) slow burn, with lovely light magic and pretty descriptions then this might be for you. May the odds be ever in your favour.


  1. I hate it when I sludge through a book and then it makes me not want to read anything because of it's boringness. :/ Props to you for sticking it through! I may still check this one out, but I'll have to lower my expectations.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I think you definitely will. The reviews for this one have mostly been similar in opinion to mine regarding its really slow pacing :(