- Page Count: 400
- Release Date: May 16, 2017
- My Rating: 2.5 stars
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.
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.
Ehhhh this was severely underwhelming. I absolutely LOVED the first book’s magic, setting, and characters. It was like a Russian retelling of The Night Circus that was trimmed down to a really focused, engaging plot.
Most of that was absent from this book. I still enjoyed the Russian elements, but the story lost a lot of direction… and all of my interest.
SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK START NOW.
Nikolai manages to get out of the dream world by gleaning energy off of people and getting some dark energy from his creepy undead mother. So Nikolai the shadow now believes he deserves to be tsar since he’s a year older than Pasha. He tells Pasha that he’s going to kill him eventually and take the crown, but first he’s going to make him suffer by turning the people against him. Nikolai’s also all sorts of jealous that Vika seems to be with Pasha now.
The love triangle kind of continues in the background, but the story meanders around without a very strong direction. Basically, Nikolai does bad things. Vika tries to stop him. He tries to get her to join him against Pasha, saying they could be “tsar and tsarina. Magic on the throne.”
The people of St. Petersburg see Vika do some magic and start burning girls as witches out of fear. There are some super random things thrown in, like Baba Yaga’s house stampeding through Siberia. The Bronze Horseman statue makes an appearance. The Decembrists factor into the end. I don’t even care enough to explain the rest.
The first book had a hopeful, almost whimsical feel to it, but this was pretty bleak. The book description sounds way more intense than the story ended up being. The last 1/3 had a more simplistic tone to it and the end was waaaaay too convenient. I just became increasingly irritated. Vika’s character also got kind of annoying. Actually, I didn’t particularly like or connect with anyone this time.
I still love the first book, though, and totally recommend it!!! The main part of this book I liked was its connection with the first. And Russia is always fun.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.