I absolutely LOVED the fantasy Russia setting in The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye! Everything was so gorgeous and magical (see my review here). The sequel comes out later this spring, so here are seven other books to read in the meantime that also draw on Russian elements for their setting or plot!
Disclaimer: I’ve never been to Russia and am definitely NO expert on their culture. So if I’ve highlighted a story with poor representation, please leave a note in the comments.
And check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of this post!
1. The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo and
2. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
These books aren’t necessarily set in Russia, but the fantasy world that Leigh Bardugo created does have a lot of Russian influence! She’s mentioned in interviews that the setting of Ravka was largely inspired by Tsarist Russia of the early 1800s.
3. Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
I’m just going to go ahead and call this setting “fantasy Russia” because it messes with history and basic events so much. Natalya is in love with Tsarevich Alexei Romanov (who is alive and almost an adult because of MAGIC) and there’s a really creative plot about a magical Faberge egg that’s holding the fate of Russia together.
4. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
This was a really clever retelling of the Russian folk tale Vasilisa the Beautiful! There’s a big store in Vassa’s part of Brooklyn that beheads shoplifters and leaves their heads out front. Vassa (Vassilissa) goes in one night and is basically taken prisoner by Babs (Baba Yaga) and has to stay there for three nights.
5. The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray
This is an AWESOME YA trilogy about a device that allows you to jump through multiple dimensions into the body of your alternate self (ok, I really don’t know how to explain). But the plot spends a lot of time in an alternate version of Tsarist Russia where the main character is suddenly a Grand Duchess in love with her guard.
6. Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This is primarily a retelling of Beauty & the Beast, but it weaves in the Russian tale of Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf in such a brilliant way that I had to include it!! The characters reference that story, but then it’s also part of the larger plot as well.
7. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
This story is a blend of historical fiction and some retellings of Russian stories like Baba Yaga and Koschei the Deathless. The setting felt super realistic and the whole story was really gorgeous!
About The Crown’s Fate:
Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
About the Author:
Check out the rest of the tour:
Jan. 9th – Brittany’s Book Rambles: The Crown’s Fate Review
Jan. 10th- Sarcasm & Lemons: Fancast
Jan. 11th- The YA Book Traveler: History of Russian Crowns
Jan. 12th- Picnic Reads: Character-Based Book Tag
Jan. 13th- Book Nerd Addict: Inspired Tote Design
Jan.16th- Dazzled by Books: Top 5 Reasons I Love The Crown’s Game
Jan. 17th- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Characters Matched to Teas
Jan. 18th- The Book Buzz: New Enchanter
Jan. 19th- The Aus. Library: Famous Russian Fairytales
Jan. 20th- My Thoughts Literally: Character Inspired Dessert
Jan. 23rd- Omg Books and More Books: Books that Characters of TCG Would Enjoy
Jan. 24th- It Starts at Midnight: Virtual Tour of Russia
Jan. 25th- Next Page Please!: Character Blog
Jan. 26th- The Book Nut: Playlist
Jan. 27th- Arctic Books: Make-up Looks
Jan. 30th- Two Chicks on Books: Pinterest Recipe Board
Jan. 31th- Lost in Ever After: Typical Date for Nikolai & Vika
Feb. 1st- Alexa Loves Books: Fashion Book Look
Feb. 2nd- Sophie Reads YA: Russian History In and Out of The Crown’s Game
Feb. 3rd- 21st Century Once Upon A Times: Drink Your Way Through The Crown’s Game
Feb. 6th- The Eater of Books: 10 Reason I’m Excited for TCF
Feb. 7th- A Thousand Words A Million Books: Top 5 Magical Moves in The Crown’s Game
Feb. 8th- Seeing Double in Neverland: Fanmade Bookmarks & Swag
Feb. 9th- A Page With A View: YA Fantasy Books set in Russia
Feb. 10th- Dana Square: Recipe from The Crown’s Game
Feb. 13th-YA Wednesdays: Favorite Quotes from The Crown’s Game
Feb. 14th- Juniper Reads: Sorting Characters into Fandoms
Feb. 15th- Nicole’s Novel Reads: Nail Polish Looks
Feb. 16th- The Queen Reads: What the Characters of TCG would take to a Deserted Island
Feb. 17th- A Perfection Called Books: The Crown’s Fate Review
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