{Review/Giveaway} THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
5/9/2016- Dark Faerie TalesGuest Post
5/10/2016- Owl Always Be ReadingGuest Post
5/11/2016- 125PagesReview
5/12/2016- A Backwards StoryReview
5/13/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

Week Two:
5/16/2016- The Reader LinesReview
5/17/2016- Once Upon a TwilightGuest Post
5/18/2016- That Artsy Reader GirlReview
5/19/2016- Supernatural SnarkGuest Post
5/20/2016- Mundie MomsReview

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

  THE CROWN'S GAME IS AN OLD one, older than the tsardom itself. It began long ago, in the age of Rurik, Prince of Novgorod, when Russia was still a cluster of tribes, wild and lawless and young. As the country matured over the centuries, so, too, did the game. But always, always it retained its untamed fierceness.
  For the winner of the game, there would be unimaginable power.
  For the defeated, desolate oblivion.
  The Crown's Game was not one to lose.

(pg. xx, US ARC edition)

"Imagine, and it shall be. 

There are no limits."


I’ve been wanting to read THE CROWN'S GAME by Evelyn Skye for a very long time. Long before it even had a cover or a full summary and was just a blurb. But once I saw the book's epic cover and read the full summary? It immediately became one of my 2016 most-wanted titles!

Set in 19th Century Russia, THE CROWN'S GAME centers around Vika and Nikolai the only two Enchanters in their country. In a world where there can be just ONE Imperial Enchanter wielding the magic of Russia, two were born. This anomaly can only be solved with the ancient Crown's Game...and there can only be one victor. The winner will wield all of Russia's magic, while the loser will perish. Vika and Nikolai start off as foes, but find themselves falling for one another throughout the Game's duration. They need to put their feelings aside if they want to survive, but it won't be easy...

This book was blurbed as being THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets RED QUEEN meets SHADOW AND BONE. I can definitely see all of these comparisons. It most closely compares to THE NIGHT CIRCUS. Some readers will LOVE that comparison and others won't. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is one of my favorite books, and I am always picking up books that say they're similar to it because I want to re-capture that magic. THE CROWN'S GAME had more similarities than I was expecting, but still reads as its own original story. Both books also have long, slow starts, but amp up at the end. In THE CROWN'S GAME's case, a lot of the first half is setting up the world (it even opens in a Russian bakery!) and the third-person POV switches are short-chapter length, so the style takes some getting used to before you fall into the characters, but once you do, you care about what happens to them, especially in such an impossible situation!

While there's no outright romance in THE CROWN'S GAME, there's a thread of possibility woven throughout. Vika and Nikolai have more important things to do than worry about romance--especially since they're in a life-or-death duel. There's a bit of insta-love at play, as well as a love triangle with the Tsesarevich, Pasha. Pasha is both heir to the throne and Nikolai's best friend...and has no clue that Nikolai is an Enchanter. 

 The imagery in the book is stunning. One of the my favorite aspects of THE NIGHT CIRCUS came from the settings that were magically brought to life, full of wonder and enchantment. So, too, is it true for THE CROWN'S GAME. There are some really creative scenarios that Vika and Nikolai create when playing the Game. Some are dangerous, others are visual wonders. My personal favorite moment is a ballroom scene where Vika is wearing the most glorious enchanted gown. It's almost a fairy tale moment and brings Cinderella to mind (Especially the recent live-action movie with all the stunning gowns!). I definitely wasn't expecting the Game to go down the way it did and am looking forward to where Evelyn Skye takes the series moving forward. 

(I have a feeling that we're going to see war, and wouldn't be surprised if Pasha's sister Yuliana was a viper in disguise, a la Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender.........)

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: --
Language: PG13 ( A mother talks loosely about when she lost her virginity; a character has slight innuendo about wanting to kiss and do "more" but isn't explicit.)
Violence: PG13 ( It's mostly non-violent, but there is a scene involving a slit neck and blood spewing. )
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Soooooooooooo pretty!!!

THE CROWN'S GAME has to have one of my absolute favorite covers of 2016. I wanted it before I saw the cover, but AFTER? I NEEDED this book!!!!

I can't wait to see a finished copy next week in person and all the special treatment the cover will use.

I love how the city is made out of a crown and that it is half lying in shadow. The girl is in a matching gold dress. Everything in this cover is illusion, which is PERFECT for the story lying within. 

And....look closely...that title isn't just black, but tinged with red, hinting at the danger to come!!!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: March 17, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins // Balzer + Bray
Received: For Review

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.

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. 

Enter to win...

1 winner will receive a beautiful custom THE CROWN’S GAME necklace 
(similar to the one in the photo above) 
made by the lovely Tales of A Ravenous Reader!

(US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway