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I Belong


Review: The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye

Title: The Crown’s Fate

Author: Evelyn Skye

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Series: The Crown’s Game (Book #2)

Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062422618 (Balzer + Bray)

ISBN-13: 978-0062422613 (Balzer + Bray)

Reviewed by: Tara

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & DirtyThe much darker second half of this magical and fantastic duology.

Opening Sentence: The Crown’s Game is an old one, older than the tsardom itself.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I’ve been waiting to read The Crown’s Fate since the moment I turned the last page of The Crown’s Game. I absolutely loved the world of fantastic, beautiful magic that Evelyn Skye created. Plus, it’s set in Imperial Russia, a time period that I’ve been fascinated with ever since watching Anastasia as a young girl. The Crown’s Fate did not disappoint any of my expectations, although it was a different novel than I expected.

The Crown’s Game was all about the glamour of magic and the competition/courtship between Vika and Nikolai. It was bright and shiny and beautiful. The Crown’s Fate deals with the flip side of that world, what happens when power is corrupted and relationships are tested. It’s dark and shadowy and yet still just as beautiful.

If you’ve read the summary, you’ve already seen a major spoiler for the first book but this is your second warning that spoilers for The Crown’s Game lie ahead (it’s impossible to discuss the second book without mentioning them). The Crown’s Fate opens up with the main characters adjusting to the conclusion of the crown’s game. Vika is now the Imperial Enchanted and Nikolai, having sacrificed himself for her, is trapped as a shadow of his former self in one of the dream benches he created. Nikolai’s mother sneakily imbues him with some of her dark magic taken from the life force of others. Although Nikolai is freed, he slowly starts to lose himself to the dark magic, starting down a path to rebellion and evil.

I still adored Vika in this book and I actually grew to appreciate her more as a character as the book went on. She matured more in this book but still managed to keep her spark of light, despite the horrific events that happened in this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of Pasha in the first book and that continues into this one, although I did respect him more toward the end. As for Nikolai, Evelyn Skye truly knows how to mess with my emotions. I could see his slow and steady embrace of his dark side and, even though I still loved him, I also hated what he was doing to his brother and to their people. Nikolai was the most interesting character in this book but I wish the resolution of his story hadn’t been quite so abrupt.

The plot was wonderfully paced, although I would have liked the ending to be a bit longer. However, some of that is probably just because I was enjoying the book so much that I didn’t want it to end. I liked that magic was revealed to the people in the tsardom, but I didn’t quite understand how opinion changed so fast toward the end. There were a few other minor plot questions that I had but they didn’t overly detract from my enjoyment of the book. I have no idea how the author came up with some of the magic Vika and Nikolai do in this book but I enjoyed each new magical endeavor.

While this wasn’t the book that I was expecting, The Crown’s Fate was the ending that this duology needed. I’m a little sad that there won’t be more in this world but am already looking forward to reading the next book or series that Evelyn Skye writes. If you loved the first book, definitely read this one. Just be prepared for a much darker story.

Notable Scene:

Vika exhaled, and the tension in her body melted away. The bracelet stopped allowing and turned an innocuous, ordinary gold.

An immediate reaction to her obedience, Pasha realized. He’d ordered her to conjuring him a midnight snack. She’d refused. The bracelet had appears and punished her, but had relented as soon as she complied with his request. Well, technically complied. He hadn’t said anything about the snack being clean.

She looked at him from where she remained kneeling in the snow. “Are you happy now?”

The Crown’s Game Series:

1. The Crown’s Game

2. The Crown’s Fate

crow4

FTC Advisory: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of The Crown’s Fate. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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