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 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.
I received a finished copy of the book from the publisher, Harper Collins Australia, in exchange for an honest review.
Please Note: all opinions are mine and are not endorsed with any company or organization.
I have always loved reading books set in Russia and this one was perfect! I loved the addition of magic and how this enhanced the beauty and also helped us to see other stunning places in Russia and not Just St. Petersburg. I also think the setting of Russia added to the story and it wouldn’t be the same without it.
I felt like the characters were adequately developed, but they still lacked some depth. I would’ve liked to see more of their childhoods and how this shaped them; hopefully this will be in additional books. I think this also could have been amended by taking out some of the minor characters who didn’t play significant roles and use that space to focus and develop the main/intrinsic characters. Saying that, I loved every single character I came across—except for Yuliana, Giovana, and Aizhana who you are definitely NOT supposed to love—and even though most people are over the love triangle trope, this book wouldn’t work without it (but I think it could’ve been improved). My favourite character would just about have to be Ludmilla, but Nikolai and Pasha are both rather cute!
The plot is pretty basic and there aren’t many twists and turns so the book plays out as you would expect it to from reading the synopsis. But that ending. It broke my heart completely; mostly because I was in denial for so long. I thought that the author couldn’t possibly end the story like that and I was wrong; although I’m hoping that this is amended in the sequel.
Writing. Nothing of note to say. Fit perfectly with the genre and setting and flowed beautifully.
Recommended to: those looking for a fun new fantasy full of beauty and magic.