Title: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1)
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: 17 de Mayo de 2016. EUA
Buy on: Amazon | B&N | BookDepository
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.
The Crown's Game is a historical fantasy novel that takes place in 1825 in an alternate Imperial Russia. When I start reading this book I did not know about this time period, so I started researching on wikipedia and the Tsar of that time was Alexander I, whom no one of his legitimate children reach to their teenage years, but in this story he has 2 teenagers, Pavel Alexandrovich Romanov (aka Pasha) , he´s 16 years old and Yuliana 15 years old. So when I realized it was more fantasy than historical (only few events are real) I focused on my reading, without giving much importance to the historical facts.
In this alternate Imperial Russia when the Tsar need magical assistance to help him fight and protect his empire, he must call for the Enchanter of his time, which takes its magic from a mystical source, so when more than a Enchanter exist (something that rarely happens), the magic of Russia is divided between the Enchanters, so to choose the Enchanter than will serve the tsar, there is the crown's game, a magical game where they with magic, but in theory it is not a violent game, as each participant has their turn to use their magic somehow to impress the tsar and end of several turns on the game the Tsar himself will choose the winner, but if during the game one of them dies, the other is immediately declared the winner, so both must watch their backs at all times.
Vika is a 16-year-old girl, she was raised on an island and its specialty in magic is to control the weather and animals. So when the game starts, she finds herself in the city of St. Petersburg, alone and trying to win the game in order to become the Imperial Enchanter.
Meanwhile Nikolai is a 18-year-old boy, he lives in the city of St. Petersburg, so his magic is more elegant and his specialties are doing clockwork machines and architecture.
Vika and Nikolai will meet in the crown's game, in which each will have a certain number of opportunities to impress the tsar, but during the game they meet more than once and they immediately feel an attraction between them, they both try to ignore it because it will interfere with the game. Meanwhile the Tsarevich Pasha, is Nikolai´s best friend and when he first meets Vika is captivated by he; so the Tsarevich completes the love triangle, but the story does not focus on the romance.
The Crown's Game is the first book in a duology, so the story does not end here, but the crown's game do, it finishes in this book, so at the end we find out who is the winner. My favorite part of the novel was the magic and I especially liked the magic used by Nikolai. I´m looking forward to read what happens next.