Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

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It’s sooo beautiful. *cries*

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Rating: 2.5 Stars

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… {continue reading}

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I really shouldn’t like this book. At all. But it was ridiculously entertaining (for all the wrong reasons, which I will get to.) and I think part of the reason I liked it so much was that I listened to it while I went on walks so 1) I was outside while I listened and 2) I couldn’t stop reading to roll my eyes.

Also, listening to a middle aged British man trying to voice a teenage Russian girl was quite amusing. I will never get those voices out of my head…

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This book reminds me a lot of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, in that it is a competition where two “magicians” are pitted against each other. I really loved The Night Circus, and it was interesting to read a “YA version” of it. Also, I was expecting a dark, murderous tournament type competition. Instead, I got sunshine and butterflies and rainbows. So if you read this, (which you totally should – it’s hilarious) don’t expect a high stakes competition, even though that’s exactly what the synopsis promises. Expect the most entertaining fluff you will ever read. Ever.

The Crown’s Game is set in Russia, but besides the Russian names and various phrases (and the narrator’s lovely fake Russian accent, of course) there really isn’t anything that really spoke Russia. Actually, there isn’t really anything that spoke anywhere. So worldbuilding was definitely not this book’s strong point.

Also, the characters weren’t that developed. I got a sense of their personalities; Pasha’s reluctance to accept his role, Nikolai’s obsession with clothes need to fit somewhere, and Vika’s “strong” personality, shown by her red hair with the black stripe, desire to live to her fullest potential. But except for those things, I really didn’t know that much about the characters. They definitely weren’t a chore to read about, but they also weren’t as developed as they could have been.

Also, when the villain was first introduced, I laughed. I’m not sure if it was mostly because the narrator tried waaay to hard to make her voice evil, or if the writer tried waaay to hard to make her character evil. There is a point when a character can be too evil without actually being evil at all, and the villain in The Crown’s Game definitely passed that point.

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I’ve talked a lot about what I didn’t like, so why do I say I love this book so much?

There are several reasons. 1) It was a perfect, lighthearted respite from other, heavier books and 2) It was the most hilarious thing I have read in a long time.

My favorite part of this book was the poor decisions some all of the character made. You have to understand- Vika and Nikolai are engaged in a competition in which both have to impress the tsar with their enchanting skills. Whoever loses DIES. This is pretty serious, right??

HAHAHAHA

Here is a chart of my favorite decisions made by the main characters.

Vika

  • Goes to a ball EVEN THOUGH
    • The person who invited her could very much get away with killing her because of her powers
    • Another guest is intent on killing her
  • Sits on a bench made by a competitor intent on killing her (???)
  • Falls in love with competitor intent on killing her
  • (There are two instances that are much worse, but sadly I cannot write them because #spoilers. But they were amazing. *laughs evilly*)

Nikolai

  • I may be misremembering, but I think he accepted food from a competitor intent on killing him.
  • Goes to a ball EVEN THOUGH
    • Another guest is intent on killing him
  • Falls in love with competitor intent on killing him

Pasha

  • Invites someone to a ball EVEN THOUGH
    • She could kill him.
    • She might be evil.
    • He really doesn’t know anything about her EXCEPT that she is very powerful, and almost killed him once. #truestory #pleasehelpme.
  • Thinks a whole series of complex, (obviously magical) magic tricks are just a really nice birthday present.
  • Falls in love with a person who could kill him.

Also, what is with that ball?!?

There is also a beautiful love triangle (parallelogram? trapezoid?? decahedron?!?) that I quite enjoyed reading about, mostly because 1) It was amusing and tragic and I am a heartless monster 2) I knew exactly how it would end up in the first book and I know exactly how it will end up in the next book and 3) I feel bad for these idiots, okay?!? It’s hard to miss balls. I get that. Kissing is definitely more important than surviving.

Obviously.

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I should stop making fun of this book. But like I said, it was absolutely the perfect thing for me right now, it was lighthearted and entertaining, and it made me laugh. Sometimes books like that are just what you need. Also, it’s definitely not a bad book. The plot is fast paced, the premise is creative (*coughs* Night Circus *coughs*) and it is definitely a lot of fun.

So you should read it. Then we can laugh together and talk about how wonderfully amusing this book is, in all the best ways.

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Do you like reading fluff books? What is your favorite kind of fluff? What is the most entertaining book you’ve read so far this year?

5 thoughts on “Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

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