My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Competition, Magic, Romance
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.
The Crown’s Game is not worth it.
Do you want a magical book? Something with romance that will make your heart flutter? A world-building that you’ll never want to leave? And characters you’ll come to worship?
The Crown’s Game has none of that.
At first, I was curious about the game. I love the factor of competition that it brings, but here, we only have two players. Now I want to disclaim that I only read sixty percent of the story, so everything I say, I base it on what I read.
So we have two players. Who both control magic like true masters. No, really, they’re gifted, and that’s the problem. There can’t be two people with so much power. One has to die. It’s as simple as that.
One has to kill the other. Every participant has five rounds. But it’s not something people are excited about. No one is watching them kill themselves. They’re just there hunting one another and pulling off magic tricks they think will kill their adversaries.
I wanted to take this book seriously, but it was close to impossible to do that. Don’t say it, Lola, don’t you dare say it—it’s stupid. The competition is stupid. Nikolai tries to kill Vika with birds made of stones for his first round and Vika tries to drown him in the water in front of spectators who think it’s a magic trick for their own pleasure.
All I wanted to say to them was ‘Come on! You can do better than that! Where’s your passion?’
And then there’s the romance. I’m not going to talk about it too much, because there’s very little to say. For Pasha, it’s insta-love. He sees Vika and he’s already enamoured of her. Sadly, Vika has her insta-love moment with Nikolai. At some point, I thought Nikolai and another girl would fall in love but he, too, begins to fall for her in the middle of the story.
So yeah, I smelled a love-triangle.
Another thing my eyes and mind and brain were not able to appreciate was the writing. I hated it. Sometimes it tries to be funny; sometimes it tries to be serious, but the worst part is that it doesn’t create any type of atmosphere. I really didn’t feel anything reading this, except for a great amount of annoyance and boredom.
It’s all action with this author. There’s a lot of showing, but very rarely do the characters show their feelings, and if they do, it’s not a very deep moment. It’s hard to connect with characters who keep so much to themselves. Obviously, it’s fast-paced, since the author doesn’t linger on emotions, but I often wanted to slow things down.
I had some quotes prepared to support my points, but I just remembered again that this book’s not worth it, and I really want to dive into a good book, so I think I’m going to do just that now.