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The Crown's Fate (Crown's Game) Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Though the Crown's Game may have ended in Book 1, there is still much in store for Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha. This title opens with Vika mid-evanescence, as she is performing yet another mundane task for the tsardom since winning the Crown's Game and the role of Russian Imperial Enchantress. Vika wants nothing more than to be reunited with Nikolai, her adversary-turned-friend, but since he sacrificed himself so she could live (and win the game), Nikolai has been trapped in a dream version of the Kazakh steppe. Motivated by revenge, Nikolai manages to escape his prison and return to Saint Petersburg. His plan? Kill Tsesarevich Pasha and take the throne. Vika tries to reconcile the demands of the state (Pasha) with the deeper ancient connection (the magical Bolshebnoie Duplo) binding her to outlaw Nikolai. With so much of Vika's energy devoted to empathizing with and reacting to the actions of Pasha and Nikolai, her boldness, so central to the first installment, is sadly missing. There are a number of underdeveloped side plots: Baba Yaga's chicken-legged house makes an appearance, and the Decembrist revolt plays a role in reuniting the trio, but their rejoicing at the triumph of the monarchy hits a sour note in hindsight. A tavern scene in which gamblers are briefly overheard gloating about sexual assault feels out of place for the series. VERDICT An uneven follow-up; consider only for fans of the first installment.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal
“A memorable alternate history and a page-turner full of surprises.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Fans of The Crown’s Game will be delighted” (Booklist)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” (School Library Journal)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “The Crown’s Game is a captivating tale that deftly transports readers to a mysterious and fascinating fantasy world, one teeming with hidden magic and fiery romance.” (Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “Utterly enchanting. The true wizardry is in the atmosphere-Skye crafts a Russia of magic and elegance, depicting St. Petersburg in such a breath-taking way that you’ll swear you’re standing on the banks of the Neva and dancing through the halls of the Winter Palace.” (Sara Raasch, author of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “Gorgeous and richly imagined, The Crown’s Game is a dazzling exploration of the choices we make when faced with impossible situations and our darker selves. Readers will fall unabashedly in love with this novel.” (Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “It was beautiful. It was terrible. I loved it.” (Hafsah Faizal, Icey Books)
Praise for THE CROWN’S GAME: “The Night Circus meets Cinderella in an alternate Russia. This extraordinary world has everything from insanely creative acts of magic, political intrigue, hope against all odds, romance, and oh-such-high-stakes-non-stop action. It is hands-down honest-to-goodness brilliant. Bravo.” (Angela Mann, Keplers Books)
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Nothing is more satisfying than bingeing a duology! Evelyn Skye brings an end to this duology with The Crown's Fate, which picks up some few weeks after the events of The Crown's Game. We were left completely shaken by the events that occurred and the events that are about to occur here are sure to shake you as well! Once again we return to a re-imagined Russia and see both the beauty and the darkness that lies within.
We rejoin Vika in her new role as Imperial Enchanter, though she still doesn't know how to act around Pasha. With his coronation just a few months away he's taken to his new role with more shame than stride. Vika learns her new role isn't all that it was cracked up to be. Plus she still misses Nikolai terribly. Ever since seeing him in one of his dreamscapes she's clung to the belief that a part of him is still alive. And a part of him is...
Nikolai is somewhat live, but he's not entirely corporeal either. He's trapped in one of his dreamscapes--sorry if I'm not using the right word, seemed to have neglected to write down the exact terminology--because he doesn't quite have enough energy to be gallivanting about the real world. He longs to go back because he misses Vika. His mother, Aizhana, comes back into the thick of things and offers her help, he refuses and naturally, Aizhana finds a way to go around Nikolai's wishes and helps him anyhow. It's at this point we see Nikolai change, he becomes darker, it's like he lost all the love in his heart.
He comes back to reality with the intent of revenge. He's angry at Pasha for reasons that I can't explain and let's just say Nikolai is a force to be reckoned with when angry. I can no longer recognize the boy from the first book as he is driven by the darkness inside of him.
Then there's Vika who is caught between the boy she loves (Nikolai) and the boy she is sworn to serve (Pasha). Vika is torn between the two boys, but not in the romantic sense. She wants to protect them both but when they both end up endangering her, Vika is going to have to find help in a surprising ally.
What truly surprised me about this book was how amazing the bonds of friendship are. Pasha and Nikolai were great friends before all the chaos. Vika grew to be friends with both Pasha and Nikolai and she cares for them both. We see this all through their actions. I was kind of surprised that the romance was still nonexistent. I guess I've been so overwhelmed with romance in my reads these days, that it caught me off guard. While the characters toss around the word "love", we actually have very little romance. And it's kind of refreshing, don't get me wrong, I would've loved some swoony moments between the characters, but that wasn't the way of things. And really, romance should be far from everyone's minds with what's about to occur in this one!
This is a book filled with epic battles. Magical duels and cunning. You never know what a character might do until they do it. There are a few glimpses of other fantastical lore--as least in my mind that's what I think of it as--that pop up, I couldn't quite understand their purpose, but t the same time, I just kind of rolled with it. In the grand scheme of things I had a general theory about them, I was actually surprised when these events are mentioned one last time towards the end, is Evelyn leaving room for spinoffs? Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see!
The Crown's Fate is quite the breathtaking read! It's a most surprising read in all the best kinds of ways! The ending was quite surprising as well and it's truly the best kind of ending. It's one that gives just enough of a resolution and at the same time leaves you knowing that while we may not be there, the adventures will still be continuing for the characters!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars
Nikolai is trapped in his dreamscape, stuck in corporeal form, struggling to hold on to the world of the living. His mother Aizhana visits him often and dishes out some hefty information. She claims that if Nikolai was to kill the visitors that come to his dreamscape, he could steal their energy and can escape to the world of the living. Prideful Nikolai outright refuses and continues to miss Vika. However, Aizhana is not to be trifled with and seeks the best for her son. Aizhana takes action and it's at this moment that everything changes for Nikolai. He becomes darker, crueler, embarking on a path of revenge. His target(s), Pasha and Vika. Nikolai becomes something unrecognizable. He's no longer the boy he was in the first book. Let's just say that he becomes every bit of his mother's son.
Vika must deal with being the sole survivor from playing The Crown's Game. She fights an inner battle between loving Nikolai and being loyal to Pasha. When things escalate and Vika becomes endangered, she seeks out an ally, one that will surprise you.
What I loved most about this book was it's stress on the bonds of friendship. Through death and darkness, it seemed that Nikolai and Pasha still had very deep emotional ties to each other that they couldn't deny. Even with everything that has transpire between them, they still found themselves missing the other.
One important aspect that I loved was the rebellion that was quietly brewing. Pasha and his sister with the help of Vika, seek out those loyal to the rebellion. They realize too late that there's descension among the ranks of their people. Nikolai utilizes the Rebellion as a tool to help himself gain the upper hand on Pasha. They're a lot of magical duels and great moments of action. There was never a dull moment.
The Crown's Fate is a much darker book than it's predecessor. Wrapped up in political intrigue, a spark of rebellion, and a well of magical power, it's characters strive to right the wrongs that have been made, which has dire consequences. Deeply rooted emotions of love, love loss, revenge, and betrayal make this book one to be devoured in one sitting. Check out The Crown's Game the sequel before this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Review: I loved the first book, the way it wove history and fairytale together, the way it changed POV, the...Read more
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