Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
When Russia is threatened by the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs, The Tsar initiates the Crown’s Game to find a worthy Imperial Enchanter. Vika Andreyeva is as wild as the elements at her command and has prepared her whole life to serve the empire. Nikolai Karimov excels at manipulating mechanics and has no intention of losing the high-stakes competition. But when the two finally meet, their magic calls to one another and both Vika and Nikolai can’t deny their connection. The rules of the Game, however, are very clear: prove that you are the better enchanter or be prepared to lose your life. In the Crown’s Game, there can be only one victor.
Evelyn Skye’s creative, enchanted alternate Russia asserts a message of power, love, and consequence. There were a few elements of the storyline that seemed lighter, simplified, or even glazed-over, however the majority of the plot flowed and did not leave too many unanswered questions. This book is the first in the duology, so the conclusion of the book may be unsatisfying. Hopefully, those unanswered questions will be addressed in the sequel. Overall, Skye’s characters are realistic, human, and relatable. Particularly, the magic and emotional connection between Vika and Nikolai is intriguing and believable. Young readers who enjoy fantasy, historical, and romance fiction will want to read The Crown’s Game.