Book Title:
The Crown's Game
Book Author:
Evenlyn Skye
Book Series:
The Crown's Game, #1
Publishing Date:
May 17th, 2016
Balzer + Bray
Date Read:
May 18th, 2016
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss


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.

My Review

The Crown’s Game is another instance where an overly-hyped up book and I just don’t click.  I tried to get into this multiple times, and I spent over a week just barely making it past the 25% mark, when I finally decided that I just couldn’t do it.

So I guess, more than an actual review, this is a DNF (at 25%) review.

If you’ve read through my other reviews by following my blog or checking out my posts on Goodreads, you’ll see that it’s incredibly rare for me to not finish a book.  I absolutely hate when I have to say “Hey, I simply can’t get into this book, I think it’s time we call it quits.”  I tried saying that “Well, it must be me, because everyone else is in love with you!” and then I came to the realization that “No, wait…it’s definitely you.”

It was kind of like being in high school and everyone is in love with the same person, only I’m one of the rare ones who can see right through them and see what they’re really like (okay, so that pretty much was me in high school, but that’s beside the point).

The Crown’s Game was one of those books that I practically jumped up and down with joy for when I got approved on Edelweiss (again, thank you Harper!), and after seeing how much everyone loved this book, I was pretty eager to jump into it and see what all the fuss was about.

“For the winner of the game, there would be unimaginable power.
For the defeated, desolate oblivion.
The Crown’s Game was not one to lose.”

With an opening quote like this, I kind of expected to be blown away.  I thought this book was going to be filled with magic, a nail-biting competition, interesting characters, and maybe a hint of a romance that just added the right amount of spark to the book.

However, as I kept reading (through falling asleep multiple times, sorry), I didn’t really seem to get any of this.  Sure, there was a bit of magic, and a promised competition that didn’t really seem all that exciting, and the characters fell a bit flat for my taste.  There wasn’t any defining qualities about them that made me care about them one way or the other, and the plot was just taking so utterly long to go anywhere. 

This, coupled with the fact that as soon as our female main character meets one of our male main characters (at the Crown’s Game competition where they have to use their magic to fight to be the Imperial Enchanter), she pretty much starts talking about how incredibly handsome he is and so on and so forth.  I mean, yeah, we’re in a lose-and-you-die kind of competition here, let’s take some time out to swoon over our opponent and how amazingly good looking he is.

Needless to say, I didn’t make it past that part.  I just couldn’t find myself wanting to read any more of the story, no matter how hard I tried.  But it came to the point where I was simply disliking it more and more because I was trying to force myself to finish it, so I gave up.

Maybe someday I’ll feel up to coming back to this one and trying it again…maybe I just wasn’t in the right mindset for a fantasy novel (which I love, so I doubt that, but who knows), or maybe it was just one of those times that, after reading a particularly amazing book, I fell into a reading slump and couldn’t get out of it with this one.

1 stars
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