Saturday, July 1, 2017

Review: The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye

Book: The Crown's Fate
Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #2 (final)
Genre: YA historical fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Pages: 415
Release: May 16th, 2017

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.

With Pasha's extreme call, the Crown's Game has ended, with Vika now assuming the role as the Imperial Enchanter. However, the cost was high--Nikolai's life--causing tensions to spark between former friends. With uprising on the verge of Russia, Vika, Pasha, and what remains of Nikolai find themselves in yet another game--expect this time, the game is one of war.

The writing and description of Russian culture remained vivid and gorgeous, as did the imagination of Vika and Nikolai's magic stunts. However, much like the first book, the plot played out vastly different than what I thought it would be. 

The most interesting character in this book definitely was Nikolai. It definitely must have been a challenge for the author to write about a slightly different Nikolai, but still trying to maintain his original personality from the first book. I think she did a great job in terms of balance, though I did find his character depth to be stretched a bit thin at times. 

Pasha held my interest quite a bit, as I was curious to see how he would use Vika, and to what extent he would remain to be compliant with his sister. Though he had some defining moments, he was a bit lost for the majority of the book.

In comparison to the last book, this one was a bit more unsuspecting. Though there was the common theme of routine spectacles of magic, it was a lot more malicious and dark, involving the people. That being said, the turning on the people worked well to incorporate actual Russian historical events, which was pretty neat.

All in all, this book was fun to read, and is rich with Russian culture. The majority of the characters didn't quite hold as much complexity as I would have liked, but it was still enjoyable to read, especially with the author's vivid imagination of the uses of magic!

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