Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 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 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.
This book was brilliant! Just brilliant! I was completely captivated by this story! I love anything to do with a kingdom, a game, romance, magic, powers, forbidden stuff, mystery. Yes I was totally invested from page one. PRE-ORDERED! BOOM BABY!
The world building made me want to go to Russia! And I’ve never had a desire to go to Russia…UNTIL NOW! wow! Everything about this book made me love it.
We follow two people Vika and Nikolai. Vika has an amazing ability to control earthly elements. Nikolai controls more mechanical stuff plus he can see through walls. COOL! In the grand scheme of the world it’s like one with outward powers and the other with inward powers you know? maybe not? oh well.
Vika is very likable as a character, she’s been trained her whole life to one day be the Imperial Enchanter. When she finds out there is another like her, she isn’t exactly thrilled because now she is learning that because there are two of them they will have to enter into what’s called The Crowns Game where Vika will have to pit her powers against the other and either they kill each other off or when the victor is chosen then the magic surrounding them will kill the loser…..ah!
Nikolai…sweet, determined, brooding Nikolai. He’s had to work his whole life to fit in and get what he wants/needs in order to fit in and survive. Unlike Vika he has always known there was another out there training like him to one day be the Imperial Enchanter.
When the time comes for them to meet and compete well…things happen that bring these two together. They will have to make decisions in order to win without losing themselves. How far will one go in order to survive and win?
The romance was pretty stinkin’ good! It’s a bit of a love triangle I’m going to warn you BUT it’s actually not overwhelmingly gross and you at times find yourself at war with which team you wanted to root for! In the end, regardless there was always one in my mind….dun dun dun…..
Sexual Content: mild
*I received this as an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.*