Series: Book #2 in The Crown’s Game Series
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY // BOOKTOPIA // DYMOCKS // GOODREADS
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Harper Collins Australia. This is no way affects my thoughts!
The Crown’s Fate was one of my most anticipated releases for the year. When I picked up The Crown’s Game last year, I was promptly blown away by the fantastic world building, unique magic system and the compelling imperial Russia setting. Whilst The Crown’s Fate did deliver on all these fronts, the inconsistent characterisations and plot direction of this book diminished my enjoyment of the sequel by a lot. The magic was fascinating and the tricks that the characters performed were interesting to read about, but since Vika was constricted in her powers, they weren’t as vivid as they were in the first book. Beyond that, I found myself losing interest in the plot and so whilst this was an interesting book most of the time, the sequel fell short of the expectations built up by its predecessor.
- THE IMPERIAL RUSSIA SETTING: I adore the setting of these books for the pure fact that I adore anything to do with historical Russia. Call it the history nerd in me but I loved learning more about the Tsarist politics, the civilian unrest and just the expansion of the setting.
- THE MAGIC: One of the strongest factors of this series is the magic and the way in which the system works as a whole. We get to learn more about Vika and Nikolai’s powers in this book and what being the Tsar’s Enchanter actually entails and it was quite interesting to read about. Whilst I would have loved to have seen Vika utilising her powers more fully, it was still a really strong factor in the book.
- DARKER ATMOSPHERE: One of the things I loved about the first book was that although there was this “life or death” magical tournament going on, the atmosphere still managed to remain whimsical and light. So, I was pleasantly surprised that despite this book being a lot darker and dealing with a lot higher stakes, it was still interesting and good in a different way.
- CHARACTERISATION: The characters were so inconsistent in this book that I genuinely felt like I was reading about different people every single time they made an appearance. Vika was torn between Nikolai and Pasha (understandably) but the fact that she would literally change her mind every time the wind changed (which was a lot considering it was Winter in Russia) annoyed me to absolutely no end.
- PACING: Really significant events were explaining in mere sentences whilst other, less important aspects were talked about for pages and it contributed to a really jarring reading experience.
- CHARACTER DECISIONS: I’m sorry, but it seemed like every single character is this book has lost their brain. There were a lot of “complications” that could have simply been resolved by the characters taking a minute to think their course of action through but instead they chose the most detrimental path EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. By the time I got half way through this book, I genuinely just wanted to slap some sense into our characters.
I had high hopes for this sequel, due to how much I enjoyed the first book, and for the most part, I found this book strictly mediocre. However, the magic system and setting kept my fairly entertained and reminded me of why I loved this series in the first place.
Until next time,