Friday, May 26, 2017

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye

Title: The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2)
Author: Evelyn Skye
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.

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.
Review by Nara

I actually didn't like the idea of there being a direct sequel to The Crown's Game. As those of you who have read it know, the ending seemed pretty conclusive and it had ended in a place that I was comfortable with had it been a standalone. After having read this sequel, I'm still not sure that a sequel was a good idea, as The Crown's Fate seems to have flipped a lot of the story upside down.

First things first, this book was not as magical as the first. Sure, there was a lot of magic used, but it just didn't have the same feel as book one. Mostly this was because the pace was incredibly slow, and not much happened throughout. When magic was used, it seemed to drag the pace down rather than create a sense of wonder as it did in the first book.

The characters also felt quite different to the first book. Nikolai was pretty much unrecognisable, which I guess I can understand because he's being corrupted by dark magic, but even Vika and Pasha seem to be different. I could remember nothing much about Yuliana from book one, but in this book, I really didn't like her throughout and felt that her "redemption" arc was unsatisfying.

The writing itself was still of high quality, and the shifting points of views between characters in third person was quite well done. Seeing things from multiple viewpoints gave the reader a better understanding of what was going on, especially seeing Nikolai's point of view.

Despite this review sounding incredibly negative, I did enjoy the novel overall. It's just that it's difficult not to compare to the first book, and it falls short in basically all aspects.

Liked it
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 2.5/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5