“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye

Star Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Stars ☆☆☆ ½

Synopsis:  It is tradition in Russia that the Tsar employs an enchanter.  Magic in the world is limited by a single source of magic bestowing only one with incredible powers.  These powers are to be used in the defense of Russia and the family that rules it.

Except there isn’t only one.  There are two.  Vika and Nikolai each share one half of the magic in Russia.  This, by tradition, is not allowed.  Only one enchanter – one magical person – may exist at a time.  And so, also by tradition, these enchanters must engage in The Crown’s Game – a magical duel to the death.

Both Vika and Nikolai have been trained their entire lives to be the sole enchanter – but only Nikolai was aware it would be a contest. Until now. Vika controls the magic over the natural, such as weather… while Nikolai’s specialty is the mechanical.

The duel is magically linked.  Each participant is seared with the magic of The Game.  Each competitor has five “turns” to impress the Tsar with their magical abilities.  The winner will either be declared by the Tsar or by the magic itself after the 5 turns are complete.  There is no need to physically fight each other, as the magic will incinerate the loser at the end of the game.

Nikolai and Vika are two sides to the same coin, and must fight for the one job they were born to do.  But, they must also do this knowing the other must die.  As they get to know each other, the prospect of the other’s death becomes more difficult to accept.  Is magic worth such a steep price?

Opinion:  Tropes, tropes, and more tropes!  I am really tired of consistent, obvious, and annoying tropes in these YA books. You CAN have an interesting and fulfilling story without using them.  I’m starting to regard those writers who cannot function without using these tropes as sub-par writers.

This is actually a duology. The second book in the series is The Crown’s Fate. That book is utterly and completely unnecessary and shouldn’t have been written . I feel so strongly about this that I am refusing to review it.

The book is entertaining overall.  It is not a book I would consider to be “bad”, but my judgement was clouded right away once I began to notice the pathetically obvious and aggravating tropes involved in this tale.  This story absolutely could have been told without them, and it was incredibly disappointing.

Goodreads Link: “The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye

Amazon.com Link: “The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye