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.
I am so thankful that the Read Harder Challenge this year instructed us to read, “The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series.” If it hadn’t, I never would have gone hunting for a series I hadn’t hear of yet. Enter: The Crown’s Game. Not only is this a new-to-me YA series, it is also set in Russia, so it crosses off another Read Harder Challenge, “A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa).” Total. Score!
I have been obsessed with Russian history, music/musicians, and fairy tales for ages. So I found this novel enchanting. It’s set in St. Petersburg, with travels to the Steppe and Ovchinin Island. Vika is spunky and determined and an incredible Enchantress with control over natural elements. Nikolai is talented and resilient, and his enchanting has a very artistic bent.
As these stories usually go — during their competition to become the Tsar’s Enchanter, Vika and Nikolai recognize an intense connection between them. The tension resulting from their struggle — wanting to develop the connection they both sense but also wanting to win the competition, makes this a captivating read.
I really, really liked this. I didn’t want it to end! Thank goodness there is a book two. I can’t wait to find out what happens after that EPIC ending!
Read Harder Challenge 2018, #5 A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa), and #16 The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series.
Current stats: 6/24
Happy reading everyone!