Vika's father has been training her to manipulate weather and animals since she was a child. He wants her to become the Imperial Enchantor, the powerful magician who protects the Tsar and helps him defend Russia against enemies. It is the only thing she has ever wanted. But she doesn't know about Nikolai, the talented orphan adopted by a wealthy family who have helped him hone his abilities to charm machines and conjure fantasies from his dreams. They intend to make him Imperial Enchantor and solidify their place in Russia's high society. Neither Vika or Nikolai know about the other and neither of them know about the Crown's Game - the Tsar's magical battle that will force them to demonstrate their skills. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchantor and part of the Tsar's Guard. The loser suffers defeat and dies.
Why It's Worth Reading:
Sometimes life is busy or hard or exhausting and I feel like I need a break. Reading this kind of fantasy fiction, set in an exotic location and full of activities that could never take place in real life, is like stepping out of my life for a few moments a day and taking a mental vacation. I've never had the privilege of traveling to Russia, but I felt like I was visiting the real locations depicted in the book - the colorful buildings of Nevsky Prospect and the regal Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Plus, this book reminded me of a YA, Russian version of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is a favorite of mine. Who doesn't love a story in which the high-stakes battle pits soul-connected contestants against each other? I never stop hoping that they will somehow manage to find a magical loophole so that they can both survive and go forward together. Evelyn Skye is a debut author, but The Crown's Game is the first book in a planned series, and I have a feeling that it is going to be quite popular. Jump on the bandwagon before everyone else is doing it!
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Do We Own a Copy?: Two on order.