The Crown’s Game came to me through the book subscription box; BestDamnBookBox – in their Game of Thrones themed box. This alone meant I was most likely going to enjoy this book. Brought to life by author Evelyn Skye; The Crown’s Game is set in 1800’s Imperial Russia. Don’t let this intimidate you, I can honestly say I did (having studied it in Histroy and getting essay flashbacks) but trust me, it is a wonderfully built world.
The story follows three central characters; two enchanters; Vika and Nikolai and the tsesarevich; Pasha. As the Tsar and Pasha’s Dad invokes The Crown’s Game – a duel to the death as the Tsar can only have one royal enchanter.
A story of magic, love and friendship, The Crown’s Game was surprisingly enjoyable for the majority, with only a few bits that played on my mind as annoyances.
As always with my reviews; spoilers ahead!
First of all, I enjoyed this book. I expected that I would if it arrived in my Game of Thrones inspired book box!
The characters were perhaps my favourite aspect of the book. It could be argued that the two enchanters are the two main protagnists but as they are pitted against each other in the titular Crown’s Game, you find yourself deciding which one you would rather win. A smart, and not often seen tactic played by the author. I found that interesting and very much at the forefront as I read through the books – as the characters developed my opinions changed and they constantly fleeted between Vika and Nikolai – I have a fickle soul.
Vika is a fiery (sometimes literally) and free spirit, Nikolai is a quiet, respectful boy and in so many ways they are each others complete opposite, and yet in more ways than one, their complete companion. The way Evelyn Skye spins that is also an excellent technique.
The world that she builds is also incredible. She draws on historical accuracy and pure imagination in a beautiful combination. Having never been to Russia, I felt like I could imagine it all in my head; the streets of Saint Petersburg and the forest of Ovchinin Island – it was all so wonderfully built that I fully immersed myself within it.
Now, this book does have its downfalls. It does suffer from a few young adult cliches that I just cannot get over, due to them just being too unforgivable (to me) these days.
There is a love triangle – cue uncontrollable groans. Yes, a love triangle. As much as I wish I could enjoy it, I just found myself rolling my eyes.
And, it suffers from insta-love. Nope. No. Can’t hack that either. I may be an ‘adult’ reading YA, but c’mon. Please no.
Unfortunately, these two things kind of ruined the whole book for me. They weren’t the whole story, but they were more central than I would like, and my eyes kind of hurt from the amount of rolling by the end.
That aside, I will be picking up the sequel – I hope there’s a sequel, I feel like it definitely ended on the note that there would be a sequel. I was drawn in enough despite its flaws.
Overall, I did very much enjoy this book, and I would recommend as long as you don’t despise insta-love and love triangle, otherwise perhaps you should steer clear.