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.
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.
Awesome. Great. That’s an excellent thing to keep in mind. Do. Not. Lose. Except someone forgot to tell the main characters cause nobody seems to give a shit about winning the game the instant their nether regions start tingling in the presence of the opposite sex.
Having a Russian setting and involving magic, one cannot help but compare this to Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bonetrilogy. For me, there is no comparison. I admit, it was not the greatest series, but it was interesting and it was entertaining despite the angest and despite the painfulness of the love triangle. If you think you can escape the love triangle here, think again, and this book is even worse because it’s just so bloody boring.
I used to write really long reviews for books, ripping them apart, criticizing everything that is wrong, but it just seems to tiring to do so these days because I seem to have the same fucking criticism for every quasi-high-fantasy that comes out. Every book has the same problems, this book is no exception. Insta-love. Romance over ambition and rationality. A recycled, boring plot. Acceptable but plodding writing.
These days, I can’t even be fucked to actually hate a book such as this because I’m just so tired of it all.