A review on The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (mild spoilers)
Technically, despite the fact that I claimed it and put it on my bookshelf, this book doesn’t belong to me. My dad and I were running some errands a couple of months ago and noticed a book sale outside our local newsagency, and unable to resist, we picked up a few books (well I helped choose and he produced the $$ #win). One of these books was The Crown’s Game.
The Writing: I wasn’t blown away by the writing style, and after jumping straight into this after The Night Circus it was a lot more simplistic. But in saying that I also found that the imagery was vivid and lovely. Her descriptions of food in particular were gorgeous and I was practically drooling as she described the Cinderella Bakery and it’s goodies.
The plot: I really enjoyed the concept but at the same time found it a bit ridiculous that the point of the game was to end up with only one enchanter still living. The idea was explained and it made sense but it seemed like a waste to have two powerful magic-users (as demonstrated by their plays in the game), and to sacrifice one. Putting that aside I enjoyed the general direction and happily read through this at a fairly quick pace.
The characters: I enjoyed Nikolai and Vika but didn’t invest too deeply in them, especially not as a couple. I found that in terms of their romantic attachment that the entire thing happened a bit too quickly for me and I felt that I missed the chemistry and the part where they grew to know and love each other. I was probably slightly more attached to Nikolai as I felt that he was a very honest, genuine character and I enjoyed learning more about his past and history throughout the book. I didn’t particularly connect with Vika but I found her to be a pleasant enough character, although in some aspects it felt as though she was lacking in depth and complexity. I liked Pasha at the beginning of the book and enjoyed his cheeky personality but as the storyline progressed I found him to be quite immature and irritating. I’m looking forward to the character development in the next book, and to learning more about each character. In terms of side characters, I felt pretty bad for Renata and she seemed as though she existed solely to be compared to Vika in terms of beauty/power etc. When we learn about Nikolai’s attraction to Vika it is very much about her beauty/power/vividness, whereas descriptions of Renata seemed to stray in the other direction which makes it feel more like a comparison. I am hoping that she is given more story time in the next book as I am really interested in her character and keen to see her grow and change. Ludmila & Sergei were very likeable characters as well and I enjoyed their interactions with Vika and their roles as parental figures – it also gave another dimension to Vika.
Overall I found this book pleasant and I will definitely pick up the sequel. It wasn’t something that I would rave about and I did find that it stuck fairly close to the general structure of a lot of YA fantasy novels, and didn’t stray too far off a ‘safe’ path.