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.
I really enjoyed this book in large part because, while it is obviously a fantasy novel, the storyline is original and intriguing. A mixture of history and fantasy combined with fantastic characters who are drawn to one another but also forced to be mortal enemies, I was riveted by the storyline.
My favourite character was Vika. She is strong, sensitive, and caring. And I couldn’t help rooting for her through the entire book. On the other hand, Nikolai and Pasha are also engaging characters. The plot was fast-paced and I was completely invested in the storyline. I know some people hate love triangles but this story never really came across in that way. There is certainly tension between Nikolai and Pasha but Vika’s feelings are not in question.
I’ll be reading the sequel to this one next and I can’t wait for her next series Circle of Shadows!