Book Review: "The Crown's Game" by Evelyn Skye


The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

   I have to admit, I was fairly intrigued with this book when I saw it. And although, I wasn't necessarily familiar with the setting of Russia during the 1800s, but the fact that there would be a competition between two enchanters to serve the country and the tsar, I immediately got it!
   I wouldn't want to spoil anything, or to go through the plot by minute detail, but I will manage to review a few things rather briefly. The story progression was rather slow-paced for my preference. And at first, you wouldn't be able to notice how slow it's going, considering how it's understandable that the author must be able to build the world for the readers - which Evelyn Skye did. I was fascinated by how she went to describe what the scenes in Russia would be like. It felt like I was imagining a world right before my eyes, before I could possibly Google it (lol). All kidding aside, however, as far as her impressive descriptions may go, overtime it grew to be wearisome, especially when I reached half of the book, the climax, and towards the ending. I guess I expected that she would have picked up the pace more, focusing more on action and less... Descriptions of the scenery.
   The reason why I think it's important to point those out is because when you are promised and are anticipating a fight to the death - which was what the so-called "Game" in the title stood for - without the actual fight yet, you could grow impatient for it. You yearn for the action. You yearn for the amazing tricks that the characters, the plot, and the author could pull up their sleeves. I'm afraid, this was what the book lacked. I expected it to have been more strategic, in terms of the game. With the other sub-plots, I also expected it to have been less predictable. Instead, they were all fulfilled (much to the author's necessity for her to reach the kind of ending she wanted, of course), and yes, I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't a major OMG moment, where I felt like the world had pulled me off my feet. The only surprising (if not, slightly) thing that happened was during the ending, where the Game had ended. But even then, I already thought some of it was predictable.
   I have no concerns for the characters, except for Vika. For some reason, I've always had a pull on her, which made me like her, especially her strength and boldness. Nikolai was... Meh. His character was quite interesting, if not for the magic he has, but other than that, I guess his golden heart always shined through, even in his darkest moments. I have to admit though, I was amused with Pasha more, not because he was the tsesarevich or because of his charm, but there was definitely something more intriguing about him. But, I do have to say that I expected a bit more emotion and connection to these characters, which I didn't seem to feel at all. Each of the characters' perspectives seem to tangle all together flatly. I wish there was more distinction to how they thought, how they showed emotion, how it was written to depict each of them as unique. And without the dialogues, I'm afraid they'd all sound the same.
   Overall, I thought this was an interesting read. I did love it, but there were a few things that didn't work for me. The second book is expected to be released on May, and although I'm not exactly jumping with excitement for it, I do look forward to know what's going to happen next. 

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P.S. I haven't exactly done a review for the longest time, so when I did earlier, I figured I might as well share it with you all... ;) 

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