From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-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.-Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Wildly romantic, wholly immersive, and gloriously over-the-top. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
Readers will eagerly await the next installment. --School Library Journal"
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, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes"
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"
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"
It was beautiful. It was terrible. I loved it. --Hafsah Faizal, Icey Books"
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"