*Book Review* The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Title: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1)
Format: e-Arc
Pages: 416
Published: 17th May 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Historical, Fantasy
Shelfability: Covet

**About The Book**
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.

I first started this book a few weeks ago and I just couldn't get into. I pushed myself to read a good bit and for the life of me I just couldn't connect with the book. So I decided to give myself a wee break from it and go back at a later date. The other night something just compelled to pick the book up again. So I started reading from the beginning again and well....the next thing I knew it was 2am and I had finished the book. It was magnificent, exciting and breathtaking. My only problem now is waiting for the book two to be released next year!!!!! I don't think I can wait that long.

The Crown's Game follows Nikolai and Vika. Two teenagers who have been training their entire life's to become The Imperial Enchanter of Russia. However, there can only be ONE Imperial Enchanter as a result they must compete in The Crown's Game. One must win and one must die. Although competing in the Game is not as easy as it seems when the two enchanters are drawn to one another making it a lot harder. And Pasha, Nikolai best friend and heir to the throne is also falling for Vika making The Crown's Game all the more dangerous. Can Nikolai kill the girl that he and his best friend are falling for? Or will he end up being he one who is killed?

Nikolai and Vika are two completely different characters. They have a different type of magic but the connection between them is wonderful. There is no forced attraction between them. They are drawn to each other from the moment they meet but it's works within the story. The chemistry they have isn't that of a typical YA read because this isn't a typical YA read. Nikolai is charming and handsome and seems to be good at everything he does. Yet he isn't cocky or arrogant about it. Vika is head strong and determined. A fantastic role model in the YA genre. Together they have that "forbidden" thing going on but not quite. They know they shouldn't feel a connection because they are enemies but they are just drawn to each other like a cruel twist of fate.
Then there is Pasha, oh so cheeky you can't help but like him. I was worried about there being a "Love triangle" but the author manages to create it perfectly and works into the story. It's not something that is there just to fill the pages. The character development and main plot is the focus of the book not the "romance".

The Crown's Game was quite simply amazing! Set in Imperial Russia that has such a magical and awe inspiring setting. I don't really know about Imperial Russia I remember briefly studying it in History in high school but I don't know anything about it. However, I have seen films set in that time frame and it always seem so magical especially in the winter. And The Crown's Game has that element in abundance. I found myself being transported into this beautiful place and not wanting to leave. Add in the actual magic and I was hooked.

The Crown's Game is full of twists and turns. Some do hit you out of nowhere, leaving you sitting in utter shock. While some, I have to admit I knew where the author taking certain parts of the story but still the excitement of getting there made up for me guessing. And then there were parts of the story that really didn't need to be there and you are left with so many questions that did get me frustrated and I only hope things will be answered in the next installment.

So if you are looking for a draw dropping, exciting and magical read that has the ability to take your breath away then please give The Crown's Game a try. You will not be disappointed. 

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