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The Crown's Game

(The Crown's Game #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  20,968 ratings  ·  3,750 reviews
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an e
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Marina The only book worth reading about Russia, that is actually correct, is Deathless by Catherynne M Valente. I see a lot of people recommending The Grish…moreThe only book worth reading about Russia, that is actually correct, is Deathless by Catherynne M Valente. I see a lot of people recommending The Grisha Trilogy and as a Russian, I'm telling you, it isn't. Most of it is very loose or she changes it too much for it to be truly representative of Russian-ness. (less)
Tim Hocker Absolutely. You can find it under YA Sky in the teen fiction area of your local library.
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,968 ratings  ·  3,750 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, arc, fantasy, 2016
She was the sun, and he was a mere rock, drawn in by her gravity. He needed to be closer, to feel her magic, to touch . . . her.

Anyone for another boring, fluffy fantasy full of magic and murder instalove, love triangles and ballgowns?

I'm just going to get the ultimate, overarching problem out of the way first - this book is so so boring. To be honest, I didn't expect that. The blurb alludes to the love triangle and romantic elements so I was prepared for googly eyes and some fast-paced thri
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
For the winner of the game, there would be unimaginable power.
For the defeated, desolate oblivion.
The Crown’s Game was not one to lose.
Awesome. Great. That's an excellent thing to keep in mind. Do. Not. Lose. Except someone forgot to tell the main characters cause nobody seems to give a shit about winning the game the instant their nether regions start tingling in the presence of the opposite sex.

Having a Russian setting and involving magic, one cannot help but compare this to Leigh Bardugo'
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Spoiler free review and spoiler discussion:

Overall really enjoyed it, only had a few issues. Watch my review to find out more!
C.G. Drews
I had a very severe suspicion that I would like this book when the first chapter started off in a bakery.. I MEAN, HELLO?! CAIT BOOK MUCH?! Also, my #1 favourite thing of recently is Russian inspired fantasy. (Yes I am a big fan of the Shadow and Bone series. OF COURSE.) And walloping me in the face with a) magic, b) Russia, c) dual to the deaths, and d) CAKE...this book + I = very happy together, thank you very much.

While the story DOES have magic, it also fetl really historical fictiony? (Ple
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow, what an enjoyable story! this has been presented as ‘the night circus’ meets ‘imperial russia’ and it totally delivers in that regard.

i am such a fan of russian history, so i think that was the highlight of the book for me. although the history was slightly skewed (as mentioned in the authors notes at the end), the story was so alive with culture. i loved it! as for ‘the night circus’ part, the only thing in common was that both stories focus on two people who find themselves in the middle
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I loved this book so much! I put off reading it forever because of some not so great reviews, but I have learned my lesson once again!

Vika & Nikolai ♥

Vika & Nikolai are pitted against each other as the only two enchanters in Russia. They are to fight to the death to be the next Imperial Enchanter to the tsar. Well I think that's rude. They could both live!

Pasha is best friends with Nikolai and he has no idea what Nikolai is until later on. Pasha is the prince but doesn't act like one.

Pasha a
♛ may

What a wonderfully magical and whimsical book – don’t be fooled though, it ripped my heart in half.


I’m personally offended that I have to wait 6 entire months before the release of the next book. Like um, no my feelings need to be repaired. #Rood

The Crown’s Game is a historical fiction book that fuses magic with Russian history. Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov the only two enchanters in Russia and with political unrest increasing in neighbouring empires, the tsar needs an enchanted by hi
Wow, talk about going into a book expecting to be bored as fuck and trashing the shit out of it....and then coming out screaming and loving the crap out of it and screaming so much BECAUSE AHAHAHAHA this was great.

So, I've read The Hunger's Game, but never once, did it occur to me, that THIS BOOK, is literally just like that book. Not once did I compare it even though IT IS SIMILAR. There's just something so???? original and captivating about this book and it was so fun!!! It wasn't until afterw
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
I.... I barely know what to say right now... so here goes ~ a mess of words and emotions. Don't worry, this is spoiler free.

"Imagine, and it shall be. There are no limits."

First of all, the elephant in the room. The plot of this book is nearly IDENTICAL to the Night Circus. Maybe I should rant about that but you know what.. I didn't really care? I love both books so I didn't mind the nostalgia. There are parts I liked more about each of the books- but I just found myself savoring thi
Ben Alderson
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just know, this is my FAVOURITE YA book of all time...
more to come on a video review soon!
Well...for a book about magic The Crown's Game was decidedly unmagical.

Here on Goodreads I ask people to answer a challenge question when they send me a friend request, the question being: What are some of your biggest bookish pet peeves? The answers are usually pretty similar and include some of the following:

- Insta-love
- Love triangles
- Characters who seem to lose all sense of reason or rational brain function when they meet another character they consider “hot”
- Lackluster worldbuilding
- Bor
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The thing that intrigued me most was the impossibility of the situation. One of our main characters would have to die in the end due to the rules of the Crown’s Game. From the start I was fighting to decide who I wanted to root for. And that was before all the additional drama laced in.

The Crown’s Game is the opportunity of a lifetime. It is a competition between enchanters where you demonstrate your magical abilities in an attempt at being chosen as Imperial Enchanter. The Tsar selects the winn
Katerina  Kondrenko
1 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Genre: historical fantasy, AU, YA
Stuff: Imperial Russia, magic
Fail: the story and its filling
POV: 3rd-person, multi
Love-Geometry: pissed me off

“There are things more dangerous than a little magic.”

Buddy-read with Vera and Nastassja.

This May was cruel to me: bad
Why do I keep torturing myself with bad fantasy books?

*munches popcorn* *plops onto couch* *sips water*

I believe it's rant time. But first, let's play two truths and a lie.

Vika is one of two enchanters in Russia. She's been training with her father for years, hoping to fill the position of the tsar's second-in-command. But little does she know that Nikolai also wants the job. The tsar declares the start of the Crown's Game, a brutal competition where the two enchanters fight to the death, hop
Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
Привет, друзья! I am here to tell you that you are not prepared for the majesty that is The Crown's Game. You need to know that when you look at that cover, you are looking at a FIVE STAR book. There is magic, romance, a complex plot, drool-worthy guys, and Russian prestige. I. LOVE. IT. It's definitely one of the BEST books I've ever read, and I mean—we're talking Leigh Bardugo levels here, people!


I'm always nervous when I read a book that is set in Russia because often times, the language is i
Mikee (ReadWithMikee)
❝I hereby swear my loyalty to the tsar,
And promise to abide by the rules of the Game,
A duel of enchantment, until a winner is declared.
To this and all traditions here before established, I commit myself
As an enchanter in the Crown's Game.❞

Rating: {★ ★ ★ ½}

Sadly, I wasn't too blown away with The Crown's Game. This book was one of my anticipated releases of May and I even met Evelyn Skye at YallWest! You could not imagine how disappointed I was to have to rate The Crown's Game only thr
Dannii Elle
So, historical fiction with a fantastical twist might just be my newest obsession! I absolutely loved everything about this; from the historical setting in 19th century Russia, the imaginative magic system, the focus on the royal hierarchy and the plethora of equally lovable character. I already want more from this world!

The Crown's Game begins in Vika's perspective and the reader is immediately immersed into this strange, ancient world. We learn early on of Vika's magical abilities and the fear
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update 01/31/2017: I decided to remove a star and change the rating to 4 stars. Been thinking about it and realized that while the book was indeed great, it still didn't feel like a 5 star read for me.


“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”

I have a confession to make. So I have a shelf here on GR named "Not-Interested", and The Crown's Game was under the "Not-Interested" shelf... *gasp* yep. I have sinned in my past life. But then, Cait read it and loved it and recommended it
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Real rating: 3.5

Buddy read with Red King

What i liked
- I really enjoyed the plot. Like I said in one of my updates, it reminded me so much of the night circus. We have two people who have been trained since they were little to become the king’s enchanter. With two enchanters, there has to be a game to determine who would become the winner. They have to play until one of them dies. To win, they have to either impress the King with their abilities or kill the other enchanter. I enjoyed the comp
Buddy Read with who dat aka big boy aka Caitlin

Wow. It's been around 24 hours and I still am unable to put The Crown's Game into the words I want to. I am still in shock. I picked the book up despite seeing some mixed reviews which would have otherwise drove me away, and then proceeded to read it with one of my favourite people who I met through this site. If I hadn't been reading it with Cait I probably would have DNF'ed it.

One thing I can say about this book is that the beginning is slow. It
Steysha Kravits
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favs

There are things more dangerous than a little magic

This book was amazing! I wish it didn't have to end. Fans of The Night Circus, this is what we were looking for!

Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov are two enchanters who were chosen by tsar to participate in the Crown’s Game. I should note that it`s a very rare case when two enchanters are born at the same time. Both enchanters don`t know about each other, until it`s time to fight in the Game. They also don't know much about the competitio
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was just so much damn fun. Very excited to read the sequel!

I think I should've been alarmed when I first read these words in the beginning of the story:

<...>but he wanted his daughter to grow up truly Russian—hiking through birch forests, playing the balalaika, and having an almost religious zeal for buckwheat kasha with mushrooms and fresh butter.

So to speak, the Russian aspect is as true in this story as hiking through birch forests, playing the balalaika and so one are true for Russian people, which is to say - it's bullshit. Not even in the 19th cen

Rachel E. Carter
May 26, 2015 added it
Shelves: nfm
2016 can't come soon enough. This book looks amazing. Hype don't let me down. ...more
Viktoria Winter
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, tbr, 2016-books


This sounds like a mix between three of my favorite books: Throne of Glass, A Darker Shade of Magic, and Shadow and Bone! How is that even freaking possible? What is this witchery? Whatever, I want it. Like, this very second would be greatly appreciated. I feel as though I've been searching for a book like this formonthsever.

HOLY MOTHER OF MODERN LITERATURE, I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. Also, just behold that cover art. It's rare to find an amazing cover paired with an equally phenomena
Review in 2016:
Wow! This book was so good! I give this a 4.5/5 stars!(:

Review in 2020:
Wow I can see why I rated this four stars last time because it still holds up with how good this first book was! I buddy read this with my friends: Heather, Libby, Tiffany for our book club pick of the month for May and it was really good! Can't wait to read the sequel now!(:
Maggie ☘
Everyone: Fear the deadly trials! They are mercilles and might very well be the end of you!

The Tsar: Whose birthday surprise I fancy more shall win…

The plot: Scary birthday surprise gift competition ensues. The end.

- A short summary


This was nice and all but... Where were the actual deadly trials?? It seems that no one really cared about them. Not even the tsar who was suposed to initiate them...

I enjoyed the magic and setting. The writing and switch of the POVs was nice as wel
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this and cannot wait for the second book!
Aly (In Wonderland)
2.5 stars.

Vika packed the clay from the former pitcher in her hands. It hardened into a ceramic cannonball. “I don’t fancy dying.”
Her father emptied the bottle of kvass. “Then the only option is, you cannot.”

I think “bittersweet” is the perfect word to describe this book. Both with how I feel about it, and the general tone and atmosphere of the story. Set in historical Russia, you can tell the author is passionate about the history and sticks very close to what is real, even if she a
3.25 /5 stars

Video Review:

When I wasn't reading this book I was thinking about it and when I was reading it I was driven to read more of it to find out what was going to happen next. This book has an element of drama to it which I know people won't enjoy and even though it isn't a huge pro for me I did find myself enjoying that aspect. For some reason, this book gave me season 1 Reign vibes which was my obsession (before the awful thing called season 2 happened). Now
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Evelyn Skye is the New York Times bestselling author of THE CROWN’S GAME and CIRCLE OF SHADOWS series.

She has a B.A. in Russian literature & history from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Evelyn was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was good enough to be on “World of Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she

Other books in the series

The Crown's Game (2 books)
  • The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)

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Bow down, readers. We've rounded up the most popular royal books in the young adult fandom. How are we qualifying their noble...
256 likes · 39 comments
“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”
“As for whether the magic in The Crown’s Game is real, well . . . that depends. Do you believe in what you cannot see?” 39 likes
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