Series: The Crown's Game #2
Written by: Evelyn Skye
Published: May 16, 2017 by Balzar + Bray (HarperCollins)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: The gorgeous and darkly compelling sequel to The Crown’s Game.
Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
I absolutely loved The Crown's Game and I was so excited to read the sequel and find out what happened next to these characters and in this series. And while I did enjoy this book, I think it was a little underwhelming in comparison.
One of the the things that I loved about this book is the world. Of course this is a fantasy series so I have to talk about the magic. This is a book full of magic and the magic is what draws you in and captures your interest. Here we get to see even more magic and learn more about how it works at what is possible. I really loved seeing and exploring the magic throughout this book. Not to mention that the magic in this book gives it a really atmospheric read. It makes you feel like anything is possible and I can't help but be entertained and enthralled by that.
But the great things about the world of this book goes beyond the magic, it also has a really amazing setting. I'm a huge fan of books set in a reimagined Tsarist Russia and this book is no exception. It captures the beauty and opulence of he period as well as the political unrest during the end of the Tsar's rain. It made for a really engaging and interesting setting.
Much of the plot here also revolved around that political unrest. I'm a big fan of books with political intrigue. This should have been amazing for me but for some reason it wasn't. I don't know if it was just that the plot development lack some cohesiveness or it just didn't feel like it had the high stakes of the last book but something about it just didn't capture my interest. Now don't get me wrong, it was interesting, and it did built to a thrilling conclusion but it just didn't pull me in the same way that the first book in the series did.
I also feel like the characters didn't make the same strong impression. By the end f the first book I was totally invested in the stories of the main characters and wanted them to succeed. Because of that, this time around it shouldn't have takes as long to get attached to them but it did. I will say, I do still completely love Nikolai and I know I shouldn't have liked the dark turn he took in this book but I totally did. He was definitely the most interesting and the one I wanted more from. He was my favorite character in The Crown's Game and he's still my favorite character here.
Perhaps my biggest criticism about the characters though was with the romance. By now you probably know I am picky when it comes to romances and this one just didn't do anything for me. It was more frustrating than anything. Not only is the stupid love triangle back with a vengeance in this book but then it became even more complicated with other characters. I think everything just kept changing so much with the character's feelings that it felt pointless to even ship anything. And because of that I just wish there wasn't a romance at all, and if there was I wish it was super minimal.
But I will say, I did really love the audiobook for this book. You really can't go wrong with a Steve West narrated audiobook so already this book had that going for it. But beyond that, this is such an atmospheric and fantastical book that the audio format really makes it come to life. Steve did a great job in drawing the reader in and his narration along with Evelyn's writing made it easy to visualize and fall into this world. I definitely recommend this audio.
I give The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye 8.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read The Crown's Fate? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!