Hype or Like Friday – BOTM Review: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1)

Just another Hype or Like Friday! This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The June BOTM is The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye.


  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.



When The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye first came out last year, I had seen mixed reviews on it so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Luckily, this book was a surprisingly fun and pleasant read!

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.

This was one of those books where it’s not perfect or overly spectacular, but just pleasant. I really enjoyed the plot and how the author was able to weave a bit of the fantastical with real history. There is definitely an air of romance around 19th century Russia, which was definitely in full view throughout The Crown’s Game. I appreciated that the author was able to fully display her area of expertise in this novel.

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I enjoyed Nikolai and Vika. Both were well-fleshed out characters and very distinctive from one another. Vika was so spunky and independent, which I loved. I thought the relationship with her father was so sweet and cute! Seriously, why can’t we have more adorable families in YA? I swear it’s like author’s treat family units like a disease or something. SO SILLY. Nikolai was so vulnerable and stern. I thought he really contrasted well against fiery Vika and bubbly Pasha. It was interesting to follow the relationships build and change between these three characters. I also loved all of the side characters like Renata and Ludmila. And can I just request to have a baker as amazing as Ludmila come be friends with me? I think that’s something very lacking in my life, haha!

I think my only issue with this book was that I never felt any apprehension or sense of dread for my characters. The “villain” wasn’t really a true villain and I wasn’t even sure if they were actually supposed to be even considered as the villain until the end. There just wasn’t enough tension or real conflict that could push the plot along. It was just a very la-te-da type of story. Perhaps that will change with the sequel though? I’m really hoping it does as that’s all this story is missing to really make it amazing.

Final Verdict:


Have you read The Crown’s Game? What did you think of it? Do you think it was missing a true antagonist? Have you read the sequel?

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Obsessive book reader and blogger. Texas girl. Sports fanatic. Lover of travel, video games, and scented candles. I also just really enjoy sleeping. #noshame

4 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday – BOTM Review: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1)”

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