The Crown's Game
The Crown's Game

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Series: Crown's Game Vol. 1   

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Annotation: When the tsar of the Ottoman Empire demands the assistance of a wizard to fend off Kazakh invaders, the country's only two enchanters are forced to compete in a dual to the death in spite of their growing feelings for one another.
Catalog Number: #137882
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 399 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-242259-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96956-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-242259-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96956-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015955181
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Skye's debut is a delightfully engaging romance set in 1825 Russia, where magic is real, though few recognize it. The czar, needing more help than his human advisors can offer, sets into motion the Crown's Game, a means of finding and retaining an Imperial Enchanter who can help rule Russia. The two teenage contenders, Vika and Nikolai, engage in a contest of magic that determines who will win the coveted title. The catch is that the loser of the game will die d that Vika and Nikolai (are you ready for this?) are powerfully attracted to each other. Skye skillfully incorporates Russian history, detailed and intriguing backstories for all protagonists, and inventive feats of magic by the two young enchanters. Colorful and imaginative ideas are fleshed out in a fast-paced plot, surprises come at nearly every chapter's end, and the comfortably predictable framework will satisfy romance fans. An author's note drops just enough tidbits tying the plot to actual Russian history to fascinate readers, and the deliberately mysterious ending hints at a sequel.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up&12; In an alternate 19th-century Russia, the tsar can call upon the abilities of an enchanter. Normally, only one exists at a time. In the rare case that two are born, they must compete, because Russia's inherent magic will allow only one to remain alive. Vika is an expert at controlling the elements and has been training her whole life to serve her country, unaware that another enchanter exists. Nikolai, best friend to the tsar's son, Pasha, who does not know of Nikolai's ability, has been training with his mentor explicitly for the Crown's Game. When the game begins, Vika and Nikolai take turns showing off their magical prowess for the tsar, creating wonders that get more powerful with each turn. Friendships, budding romances, and betrayal among Nikolai, Vika, and Pasha make the stakes even higher in a Game that will cost Nikolai or Vika their life. The forefront of this speculative fiction title, the action-packed, magical duel, is set against the backdrop of a richly detailed world. It is not surprising that Pasha and Nikolai fall for Vika, though Vika's pragmatism stops anything from developing. The book ends with one winner remaining, but the final sentence hints that the loser has not disappeared forever. Readers will eagerly await the next installment. VERDICT A blend of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus (Doubleday, 2011) and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone (Holt, 2012), this work will make a solid addition to young adult collections.&12; Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A star-crossed pair is magically compelled to duel to the death in this sumptuous, Tolstoy-flavored fantasy debut. In 1825 the tsar of an alternate Russia desperately needs an Imperial Enchanter, and there are two possible candidates: bold (almost feral) Vika Andreyevna, of aristocratic lineage but raised in humble isolation; and fiercely ambitious Nikolai Karimov, born a poor Kazakh orphan but groomed for elegant St. Petersburg society. Despite their instant attraction, they are doomed to obey ancient tradition and compete in the Crown's Game. The winner will attain "unimaginable power"—but for the loser, instant death. Fiery Vika, who specializes in nature enchantments, is well-balanced by the calculating Nikolai, skilled in mechanics and artifice; their escalating magical displays cleverly showcase their opposing talents and personalities and how they complement rather than clash. Multiple points of view highlight the vivid secondary characters who play pivotal roles—as does a gorgeous, fairy-tale version of St. Petersburg, almost a character in itself. The plot is not so much dramatic as operatic, with masked balls, thwarted passions, fantastical feats, tortured love quadrangles, heartbreaking sacrifices, and vengeful secrets from beyond the grave. And, like many an opera, the climax is beautifully tragic, leading to a poignant, bittersweet epilogue with just enough bread crumbs to leave open the possibility of a sequel. Wildly romantic, wholly immersive, and gloriously over-the-top. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Word Count: 94,954
Reading Level: 5.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.9 / points: 15.0 / quiz: 182227 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:22.0 / quiz:Q68838
Lexile: HL800L

"Gorgeous and richly imagined."—Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series

"Teeming with hidden magic and fiery romance."—Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Game is a thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia about two teenagers who must compete for the right to become the Imperial Enchanter—or die in the process—from debut author Evelyn Skye.

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.

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