Read: May 16th-18th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: The Crown's Game, #1
Format: ARC, 416 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/ Be First Book Club
Description from GoodReads:
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.
Come and play with me.
With seeing the cover everywhere, and hearing about it constantly, I thought that The Crown's Game would be WAAY too over hyped. But when hearing that my Be First Book Club would be reading The Crown's Game, I still couldn't help but be ecstatic. I'm glad that I didn't let the hype get to me, because it was everything it was said to be, and more.
I've never read a novel that takes place in Russia, let alone Russia 1852. The background info and culture in the novel was phenomenal, learning about both was entirely new to me and a completely unique experience. The language especially was a favourite of mine, with words like Tsar, mazurka, and kazakh. Then the little shops and roles in society, one couldn't help but fall in love. Although I did have a hard time pronouncing and reading names.
I adored the characters as well, the innocence of Pasha, the confidence of Vika, the tenderness of Nikolai. They all had something that made them who they were, and let them stand out from the rest. I also couldn't help but be intrigued by Aizhana, her being was creepy yet exciting all at once. I can't wait to see where her character leads us later in the sequels, especially where the main characters are concerned.
I also enjoyed the small connections The Crown's Game had to a retelling of Cinderella. For anyone being a huge fan of that classic tale, it would be a lovely little surprise to have experienced while reading.
The only concern I had for the book was the closeness it had in resemblance to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. The competition to work for the king, the romance and three main characters being so similar to Chaol, Dorian and Celaena, and having that one secret that made Vika stand out above the rest. To anyone who hasn't read that particular series yet, you will have no worries. But to someone like me who has already, you won't be able to not compare the two throughout the whole story.
The Crown's Game was a captivating yet quick read thats' magic pulled you in, and wouldn't let you escape. Hopefully the sequel arrives quickly, because I don't know how I'll survive the wait.
I am tied irretrievably to my enemy.
Recommend to People Who Enjoy:
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, High Fantasy, Russia, Kingdoms, Magic