- Page Count: 416
- Release Date: May 17, 2016
- My Rating: 5 stars
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.
This was definitely one of the best books I’ve read so far this year! Masked balls, star-crossed lovers, Russia, royalty, strong relationships that span all ages and genders, AWESOME MAGIC… aaaghh this book had everything. I cannot squeal about it enough.
The detailed, creative worldbuilding is absolutely phenomenal. I went into it expecting something like the Hunger Games, but was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out to be more of a gorgeous magical adventure than some stressful fight. I won’t go into the plot because everything seems like a spoiler, so I’ll just say it’s like a fantasy Russia version of The Night Circus.
But oh my goodness… THE CHARACTERS. This might be the first time that I not only didn’t mind a love triangle, but liked what a complicated web it turned into. About 3/4 of the way through I was distraught because there was just no way for everyone to get the ending they deserved and I LOVED ALL OF THEM SO MUCH. I’m still not emotionally ok with that ending, but am holding out hope that the sequel will pull off some “hey, just kidding” thing.
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an ARC!