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The Crown's Game

Review

The Crown's Game

THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye depicts a changing Russia: its enemies are growing more and more formidable, rebellions are on the horizon and the tsesarevich is coming of age. The tsar is worried about Russia’s future and wants to ensure that his son does not have to deal with unrest. Therefore, he begins the Crown’s Game. The Crown’s Game is a magical battle to the death of the enchanters of the realm. Once assuming complete power, the victorious enchanter will be named the Imperial Enchanter of Russia. He or she will be able to protect Russia against its enemies and will protect the royal family from any threat.

“The setting is the novel’s best attribute, and Evelyn Skye allows her characters’ magic to play off the city, creating an even more beautiful setting.”

Vika has been training for the role of Imperial Enchanter since she was a child. Gifted with extreme power over the elements, Vika can create lightning storms, control fire and wield ice. She and her father know it is only a matter of time until she is summoned to St. Petersburg to take her place as Imperial Enchanter. However, unknown to Vika and her father, another enchanter resides in St. Petersburg. Nikolai has been the apprentice of Countess Galina for years after being taken under her wing when he was a young boy. The Countess has been preparing him for the Crown’s Game for years, honing his ability to magic the city around him. Nikolai is well aware that another enchanter is present in Russia, but he simply hopes he has more time before he must face them.
          
When the two are summoned to begin the game, a competition like no other begins.  Nikolai and Vika battle turn after turn, each trying to best their opponent. As the urgency of the game heightens, the two enchanters begin experiencing conflicting emotions regarding the deadly game. But now is not the time for questions, as Russia’s situation grows more and more dire. The only true question is who will become the Imperial Enchanter --- and at what cost?
          
THE CROWN’S GAME is an exciting story set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: St. Petersburg, Russia. The plotline follows the stories of Vika and Nikolai, the two enchanters. In the beginning of the novel, Vika and her supposed father, Sergei, are unaware of the existence of another enchanter. The existence of two enchanters at one time is an extremely rare occurrence, which explains her shock at the discovery of Nikolai. Vika is portrayed as a clever, fiery girl. However, she comes across as a very cookie-cutter sort of character, with few characteristics that set her apart from other heroines.
          
As opposed to Vika, Nikolai, who has been under the guidance of Countess Galina, has always known of the presence of another enchanter. Nikolai is an interesting character. Having lived in poverty despite the training of Countess Galina, he has a different view of himself and the world around him. Nikolai is also best friends with Pasha, the son of the tsar, who is next in line for the throne. Pasha is completely unaware of his best friend’s magical ability, but he is smitten with Vika, despite not knowing her very well. Pasha’s feelings for the other enchanter create a new dynamic as Nikolai struggles with the idea that he may have to kill the girl with whom both the tsesarevich and he himself may have feelings for.
          
THE CROWN’S GAME is set against the culturally complex background of Russia. The setting is the novel’s best attribute, and Evelyn Skye allows her characters’ magic to play off the city, creating an even more beautiful setting. Although the plotline itself is rather basic, unexpected elements are thrown into the storyline, which liven up the novel. In conclusion, THE CROWN’S GAME has potential, with an interesting concept and setting, but lacks a unique female lead and intriguing plot.

Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member on May 23, 2016

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