By Evelyn Skye
What do you get when you blend two magical enchanters, a lethal contest, and a Russian monarchy? The Crowns Game.
The Crowns Game follows two enchanters as they compete to the death for a position by the King’s side as the one, and only, Imperial Enchanter. To win, each competitor must display their strength, skill, and ability to impress the royal family – if the other competitor happens to die in the process, then so be it. Between the magical demonstrations, near death incidents, and magnetic Russian landscape, romance blooms between Mia and Nikolai, the enchanters, and the Prince and Mia – a love triangle if I’ve ever seen one!
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The Russian setting, history, and characters created a unique novel (not a ton of Russian-themed books out there!). Now, don’t be scared away, it’s not so Russian that you feel alienated, just enough to weave an authentic setting and backstory for each character.
The love triangle and overall plot were somewhat predictable. I am an avid proponent of building a love story through dialog, action, and emotion yet I didn’t get that from this novel. Like many others, this book fell into the trap of ‘immediate love’ – where the characters fall in love for no other reason than a strong pull to one another.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a very enjoyable, fast read! I just mostly loved it because of the interesting historical setting and world.
Romance: fell a bit flat. I need a basis for the romance, not just a strong magical pull to one another.
World Building: loved the historical fantasy element and the Russian details weaved throughout! From the countryside to the palace to the magical flourishes interspersed, Mia’s world is beautiful.
Writing: this is an easy, quick read. The writing is good but word choice and complexity isn’t as diverse as other fantasy novels.
Overall: an enjoyable read and a nice breather from the very heavy fantasy novels dotting the genre landscape.