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The Crown's Game #2

The Crown's Fate

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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.

425 pages, Hardcover

First published May 16, 2017

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About the author

Evelyn Skye

9 books2,026 followers
EVELYN SKYE is a New York Times bestselling author of novels for adults, young adults, and children, including THE HUNDRED LOVES OF JULIET, DAMSEL, and THE CROWN'S GAME.

She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and daughter.

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5 stars
2,098 (22%)
4 stars
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3 stars
2,928 (30%)
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202 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,322 reviews
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
February 7, 2017

I literally could not want a better ending, plot EVERYTHING!

This world has grown amazingly!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
July 3, 2018
this series makes me want to go to russia sooo badly. any russian friends willing to let me visit? please and thank you! :P

also, i think duologies are a gift to bookworms - they are so easy to binge read! it was so simple to jump right into this after finishing ‘the crowns game.’ this was still just as rich in russian history and culture. i loved the fact that the plot this time around was based on an actual event. i totally geeked out over that!

again, i wish the writing was a little better. i had hoped it would have improved since her debut, but it still felt heavy and i had to trudge through the pages. because this book was so history driven, the writing tended to make the book feel a bit boring and slow. i think this series definitely could have benefited from a first person POV. it would have really helped the flow of the story and i think i would have connected more with the characters.

i didnt quite enjoy this as much as the first book, but i did approve of the ending and it was still pretty good overall!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles).
225 reviews451 followers
March 25, 2017
Read my full ARC review of The Crown's Fate

This book should come with a warning label that says: Don't start before bedtime. Because you won't be able to stop yourself from reading it all the way through. I have no regrets about staying up past 3AM just to finish it, and I'm so thrilled that my first book of 2017 was this one. It was truly everything I wanted it to be, and so much more.


Going into this book, I thought I was relatively prepared for what was to unfold. I was expecting beautiful displays of magic, some angst, more romance, and tons of feels. BUT what I wasn't at all prepared for was all the action, as well as how utterly dark this book gets. To all of those people who said they wanted more action from The Crown's Game, you get your wish in this sequel! Also, tears. You get lots of those too. Overall, just know that Evelyn has stepped up her game, so prepare to be wowed.

Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
June 30, 2017
My issue right now is trying to figure out whether this book is suffering from Second Book Syndrome or the series genuinely needed to end at book one ???


Gahhh, I feel like this book is the epitome of disappointment. Not only bc book one set such high standards but because it was GENUINELY great for the first bloody 70%.


Wow, that felt good to get off my chest.

Okay so this book was MUCH more darker than book 1. While book one was all fairy tales and sweet magic and forbidden romances, this book was all anti-heros and dark magic and revenge.

So yes, it was kinda deliciously evil.


Honestly, I was going to give this book a 4 star rating bc I’m enchanted by anything concerning historic-Russia and there’s something about the writing that just catches me from the get go, but that effing ending ruined it all.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY enjoyed reading the book from the perspectives of all the characters. Yes, there are plot holes AND THAT EFFING ENDING but the author was able to warp everything to a point where you yourself are unaware of which side you stand.

And who really is the good guy, bc there’s arguments for both sides.

The characters in this book felt VERY different from the first. The blissful innocence that they used to have was completely abolished in this book. Everyone’s trying to get their ish together while everything is combusting around them.

Yikes, this could have been a great book, but

I have no more words to say.

Nothing is more remote than yesterday;
Nothing is closer than tomorrow

2.5 stars!!

Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,244 followers
May 23, 2017
I mistakenly thought this book was a trilogy, so when I got to the ending and found out it was a duology...I'm left wondering why The Crown's Game wasn't just a standalone? A lot of the magic and drama that made the book's predecessor so enjoyable was completely missing. And just when I thought the plot was going somewhere interesting with some gorgeous Russian folklore laced in, none of it went anywhere. That could've been used to make a really excellent third book or hell, it could've been used to make an epic ending in this book. That would make more sense.

Reviewing sequels always gets tricky because you don't necessarily want to spoil the first book. And there are usually revelations and occurrences that lead to the sequel. So I'm going to withhold from the plot anymore than I already have. This is where that's actually easy because I didn't feel there was much of a plot. A good amount of the story felt like filler. There was a LOT of repetition. We are told the same things about the characters in several different ways..not exactly moving the plot along, but remaining in a stalemate. It all feels pretty boring as you wait for something to happen. Some of the perspectives felt unnecessary. They didn't add anything to the story.

Overall, this was a pretty big disappointment. If you enjoyed The Crown's Game, you'd be better off leaving the story there. This one just feels so unnecessary.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews700 followers
April 3, 2017
"The Game might be over, but their story was not."

Buddy read with my love, Amber.

This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and I could not contain my excitement when I got to read this book early. Overall, I'm fairly satisfied with how this duology ended. Sure, I wanted more but I'm still pretty content with how it went. I was fairly set on how I wanted this book to play out and I was a little disappointed that what I had predicted didn't happen.

I was actually worried that I wasn't going to like this book because I found around 30% of this book ridiculously boring. It felt like our 3 main characters lost a bit of their personalities in the middle of this book and the same repetitive issues were happening over and over again.

What was missing from this book? Well obviously the characters were a bit lacking, But mainly, it wasn't anywhere near as magical as The Crown's Game was. The spark that made book 1 so amazing was really missing for a large portion of this book. Nikolai is my favourite character in this series and even he was missing his spark right up until the end. I wanted more from this second book.

I don't know how to talk about this book. I don't want to spoil book 1 or book 2 and I just can't tell you ANYTHING without it being spoilers. I'm not even sure how I feel about this book. I'll come back and fix this review eventually and maybe after the release date I'll add some spoilers, but for now I just don't know how to feel?

*I received an eARC for review but all thoughts are my own*
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
October 5, 2017
UPDATE, April 30th: Good grief. Someone remind me why I do this to myself. WHY DID I BOTHER.

If you're someone who also did not like The Crown's Game (disliked, hated, felt meh or iffy about), don't read this book. It's not worth it. I will DM anyone spoilers who is in that position (disliked, hated, felt meh or iffy about book one), so y'all can avoid reading this mess and don't have to worry about your blood pressure or rage-eating chocolate donuts.

(There were two donuts involved. Don't judge me. I'm still furious with this book!)

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye
Book Two of The Crown's Game series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

FULL DISCLOSURE: this may end up being a rant, more than anything else. I'm sorry, but I'm not really sorry at all.

ALSO: I will try my best to avoid major spoilers. But I'm pretty pissed off right now, even though it's been over an hour since I read the book (as I'm sitting here, typing this review), and I'm going to just let out all of the frustration and irritation and see how it goes.

This is the sequel to The Crown's Game, a book that I didn't really enjoy but sort of wanted to know more about (i.e. read the sequel). I hated the useless, obnoxious love triangle, I hated Pasha, and I just wasn't feeling the book. I was really hoping this conclusion novel would be better for me. Spoiler alert: it wasn't.

This sequel picks up a little after The Crown's Game concludes. Nikolai is trapped in the in-between, Vika is now bound to obey any order of Pasha's or Yuliana's, since she is now the Imperial Enchanter, Pasha continues to be a whiny, spoiled boy who doesn't deserve to be tsar, and Yuliana continues to slay (and to me, she should be tsarina and Pasha should go eat poo). But Nikolai escapes the in-between, but at a price: a darkness sweeps through him, and he finds that all he wants to do is kill Pasha and become the true and rightful tsar. A revolt was already in motion, but with the turmoil that Nikolai stirs up, a war that will divide Russia is set to explode.

Probably the only two positives of this book are (1) Vika ends up with the "right" guy. Don't even argue with me about this, ____ fangirls/fanboys. We all know who she should (and does) end up with. And (2) I read this book really quickly. I skimmed towards the end, but it's an easy book to read.

What I Did Not Like:

Heeeeeere we go. Maybe I should number them, to make it easier on myself?

(1) The love triangle. The love triangle persists throughout the entire book, and doesn't get resolved until the last few pages. I hate love triangles, and the love triangle in this book is annoying, unnecessary, and irritating. Vika doesn't like Pasha at all, in this book, but she isn't sure she is in love with Nikolai (though she cares about him a lot - so, obviously she does, in my opinion). Pasha is madly in love with Vika (for some reason). Nikolai is madly in love with Vika (again, for some reason), but to him, she always seems to take Pasha's side and have Pasha's best interests at heart and care about Nikolai coming back solely to mend things with Pasha... yeah, I get it. I would be pissed if the girl I loved (and loved me back) kept name-dropping some other guy, or used some other guy as the big reason to come back to the land of the living.

Seriously though, the love triangle is unnecessary, and is especially unnecessary how long it is dragged out. WHY do I need to keep reading about how Pasha is desperate to kiss Vika? Or Vika keeps recalling her and Pasha's almost-kiss, despite her continually saying (in her mind) that she dislikes Pasha? I felt incredibly bad for Nikolai, who got the worst end of the stick in terms of everything! Not only did he give his life to a selfish b***h, but he's stuck in the in-between, he has to rely on his mother for strength, he is basically rejected by Vika and feel betrayed because she only ever mentions Pasha, and he doesn't love Renata (who loves him dearly) so it's not like he can move on with her or something! Gah!

(2) The love triangle resolution. Friends, it is SO bad. The love triangle gets resolved in the last couple of pages and it is so poorly done. _____ and Vika have this moment in which they are like, OMG! We're meant to be! And _____ has this moment, at the same time as their moment, in which he realizes that he never stood a chance. This stunning moment of clarity hits everyone all of a sudden. And suddenly, the love triangle is gone? All the feelings are squared away in neat boxes? The epilogue is even worse, because Vika says something (in her mind) like "my boys" -- ew! I know a menage thing is not going on here, but could you not lump Nikolai and Pasha together? One is your boyfriend, one is your friend... oh and also, it's not explicitly stated that ____ and Vika are courting. So. There is that.

(3) This love triangle trope in particular. Have I ever mentioned on my blog how much I HATE love triangles involving brothers? Can we not? In what WORLD is it enjoyable for anyone to encounter a situation in which a woman is in love with two brothers? Or she has two brothers fighting over her? Young Adult fiction, of course...

(4) I didn't like Vika. She is incredibly weak in this book. As the Imperial Enchanter, she is magically bound to obey any order given by Pasha and Yuliana. And boy, do they give her some orders. Like, hunt down Nikolai. Arrest Nikolai. Execute Nikolai. Kill his mother. And so on. But to me, Vika didn't really fight this. She didn't put up a fight for her freedom. Yes, she is basically their glorified slave. But she didn't get angry enough. She didn't hate Pasha and Yuliana nearly enough - and they own her! Pasha claims to love her and yet, he has her (magically) chained to him. Okay...? In any case, I don't think Vika displayed any backbone at all. Yes, she couldn't remove the magical bracelet binding her and her power to the tsardom. But she also didn't vocalize any dissent, or yell or scream or get angry. If someone were controlling me, whether I put myself in the position or not (i.e. won the Crown's Game), I would be furious and never stop being furious, not even if the people chaining me were my "friends".

Tell me that isn't f***ed up. Some friendship. Or love (on Pasha's part). Vomit. How is this okay? How is this a healthy relationship? Why does Vika not question this? This is practically an abusive friendship (I want to say "abusive relationship" but Vika and Pasha aren't together in that way, so).

And for those who are about to scream at me saying, "Alyssa, character development, hellooooo???" Please. Vika is weak and silent about almost everything that should have pissed her off, from start to finish. This is the last book in the series. When will she stand up for herself to Pasha? Oh, um, NEVER. A little deus ex machina fixes the problem of her being magically bound to the tsardom. Because of course.

(5) I hated Pasha. Always have, in book one, and always will, apparently. He has no spine, he whines, he complains, he is spoiled, he is hand-fed, and he is without doubt the worst person in this book. I was CHEERING when Nikolai began his quest to kill Pasha. Pasha only got even more annoying in this book, and his besotted being only made him more unbearable. He never deserved to be tsar. Yuliana, maybe. Or Nikolai.

(6) This book was boooooooring. I started to skim a little, right from the start. The author likes to drone on and on about this and that (maybe like I'm doing now, but hey, I don't get paid to do this, so leave me alone). Her descriptions are not interesting or imaginative and I wasn't really visualizing what she was describing, at most points. The plot of this book is all over the place, never settling on one path, but the sum of the events were so boring. It's almost like the author tried to do too many things at once, went with a hasty climax and an even hastier (and crappy) ending.

(7) Okay, the ending isn't that bad. But it's so disgustingly perfect, and neat, and it works out too cliched and too well. You'd think at least ONE of the main characters would have died, right? Of Nikolai, Vika, Pasha, Yuliana, Renata - one of them should have died. YA authors never have the original gang all survive. And yet... well, you can guess what didn't happen.

(8) I really did not like how the author twisted and brutalized and ruined Nikolai's character. She made him into a villain, and needlessly so. I mentioned that Nikolai gets the short end of every single stick. Well, he's apparently the guinea pig and punching bag. You NEVER see Vika go through anything tough. Or Pasha. Or Yuliana. And yet, Nikolai has to go through every single terrible thing, and he is dubbed a deadly villain (well, he is trying to kill Pasha, but that isn't technically his fault), and he can never catch a break. The author definitely needed to spread out the suffering, because it was completely one-sided.

(9) There is no swoon in this book. I hate the love triangle, but I also hate how there really isn't any substantial romance in this book. I know that doesn't makes sense, because I just said that there is a love triangle. But the thing is, Vika doesn't feel strongly enough about Nikolai initially, and she definitely is not interested in Pasha. So the "romance" is just kind of blah. What a waste. There is only one kiss in this book, and it is the world's most boring YA kiss.

(10) I've heard from a Ukrainian and Russian reader that the author has gotten so, so many cultural aspects of Russia entirely wrong. I don't know anything about Russian culture so I personally can't point out these inaccuracies and misrepresentation, but I believe it.

(11) Speaking of... the whole "lush Russian fantasy" thing was not working for me, in this book. I get it, the author has a degree in Russian history (or whatever). But I wasn't really into the setting. Maybe because the story was so boring and the writing wasn't that great?

(12) There are some things that just aren't explained at all? For example, apparently ancient creatures and Baba Yaga's house and all sorts of magical things start to awaken, for some unknown reason. But then, this subplot completely disappears! What happened to all of the awakening creatures? Baba Yaga's house? Why even include the creatures awakening if they aren't going to appear in the final showdown or something? There were several random things like this in the book. Like the author wanted to make the book even more ~magical~, but then forgot about those elements. Whoops?

I'm stopping there. I think everyone gets the idea.

Would I Recommend It:

I do not recommend this sequel, especially to those like me who did not really enjoy The Crown's Game. If you hated, disliked, or felt iffy about The Crown's Game, save yourself and do not read this book. It is an utter disappointment and a complete waste of my time.

OBVIOUSLY you should decide for yourself and all that. If you enjoyed The Crown's Game, then you'll probably be fine. But I do think everyone else should stay far, far away. This conclusion was so underwhelming, and the series is incredibly overhyped and overrated.

Do NOT read this book if you didn't like The Crown's Game. If you want spoilers, email or message me. I'm happy to tell anyone anything they would like, if it'll save them the headache and irritation that I went through, while reading this book.


1.5 stars -> rounded down to 1 star. I debated about this rating, because 1 star seems harsh, but I couldn't stand this book. While I was reading, I was disinterested and growing more irritated by the minute - and as I was writing this review, I realized that I was pretty pissed off. So, yeah. This book enraged me, and it wasn't great, and I have listed plenty of reasons why. Sorry! (Not.)

Honestly I didn't see myself reading the rest of the series -- this was BEFORE I read The Crown's Game. I was fairly convinced that the love triangle I had been hearing about would be pretty unbearable. It really wasn't too bad at all... I had a few issues with the book, but overall, I'm looking forward to reading this sequel. Maybe not like how some people are (I gave The Crown's Game 3 stars, hehe), but still looking forward to it nonetheless.
August 9, 2021

”She might be a dragon on a leash, but she was still a dragon. She would stall. She’d find a way to fix this, bracelet or not. Or, like witches, she and Nikolai would both burn”.

Lastimosamente, siento que esta bilogía debería haber sido un solo libro. The Crown’s Game fue absolutamente espectacular, pero The Crown’s Fate lo sentí como un alargue bastante innecesario y que empañó lo que sentía por algunos personajes.

Después del final de la competencia en el primer libro, Vika es la hechicera imperial y cree que Nikolai murió por salvarla. Sin embargo, lo que realmente sucedió es que Nikolai quedó atrapado en una de sus bancas mágicas, en otro plano, existiendo con poquísima energía como una simple sombra de lo que fue y sin poder escapar. Todo se vuelve peliaguda cuando la madre de Nikolai, ese espectro de energía oscura que volvió a la vida, le da parte de su esencia para que él vuelva al plano mortal. Sin embargo, al hacer eso, parte de su oscuridad y su deseo de venganza se trasladan a Nikolai y él empieza una vendetta contra Pasha para reclamar su lugar legítimo como próximo zar.

Creo que me gustaba mucho más todo el concepto de esta historia cuando no existía esa energía oscura manipulándolo todo hacia el desastre. Sé que le da un nuevo toque dramático a toda la trama, pero sentí que la esencia del primer libro se perdió por completo. Ya los hechiceros no encantaban cosas espectaculares y para demostrar sus poderes, sino que usaban sus habilidades para intentar cumplir con una venganza absurda y para intentar contrarrestar esos intentos. Se volvió una magia mucho más combativa y, en el fondo, lo que me gustaba de The Crown’s Game era precisamente el aspecto no bélico del sistema de magia.

No sé, creo que, por mi bien, voy a pretender que este libro no existió y me voy a quedar únicamente con el recuerdo del primero en mi memoria.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,395 followers
April 1, 2017
Buddy Read with my love, Caitlin.

**I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I went into The Crown's Fate with so many high expectations. I loved The Crown's Game, it was great. However, The Crown's Fate was not on the same playing field. One of my favourite things about The Crown's Game was the magic. I was in love with the world building and the historical Russia setting. This book lacked the enchanting aura that came with the first book.

It also felt that throughout this book the characters lost their personalities. I didn't recognise anyone from the first book. Pasha was stupid, Vika couldn't stop complaining and I have no idea what Nikolai was doing but boy was it annoying.

On top of the characters being completely not themselves, there was not plot line. No, sorry, there was but it simply was repeated several times throughout the book and caused the characters to be running around in circles and have the same conversation several more times. So, it was just a tad boring if you ask me.

To further my disappointment, this book was filled with useless perspectives. Honestly, this book could have chopped maybe a quarter off if it hadn't been for the useless perspectives for a page. You can bet I was rolling my eyes whenever I happened across one of those in particular.

I wish I could deconstruct this better and maybe express my opinions in a more concise matter, but I didn't take much of this book in. I was scanning my eyes across the words and because the content was so useless to the plot I found myself napping with my eyes open. I honestly don't remember a thing from the second half of the book. It all felt like it was trying too hard.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
July 5, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I’ve told you before, magic comes tied with many strings.”

This was an interesting YA fantasy sequel, which picked up where the first book left off.

Vika was much more likeable in this story and really showed her true colours. Pasha seemed more serious about his role and becoming Tsar, but Nikolai was definitely changed, to the point where he was almost unrecognisable.

The storyline in this was about Pasha being challenged for the throne, Nikolai behaving badly whilst governed by some evil energy, and about magic being made public and people burning red-haired people as witches after seeing Vika’s magic. The story was enjoyable, but it did drag a bit in places, and once again the romance didn’t feature heavily at all.

The ending to this tied things up nicely, which surprised me as I thought there would be another book to come.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Jeff.
143 reviews401 followers
July 12, 2018
If I were to put it straight out there, I enjoyed the first book more.
Recap back to the first book; we were left on a cliff hanger with two brothers where one of the two is in anti-death, and a red headed girl is stuck between the two of them.

Now, this duology is fully surrounded by the essence of a love, hate, life, death relationship but I feel like this book prolonged it more than necessary.
First book, man, it was a death drop for me. This one..I’d say it was about an average snoopy ride that you’d find at an amusement park.
Fun ride, but regarding my fangirl levels, it was about a two out of ten.
I found myself completely bored and frustrated at why this antagonist/protagonist relationship between Nikolai and Vika kept going on and on in the story.
It was just problem mounting another problem!

And also. That mother, Aizhana? She deserved to die sooner. I believe that she was a well thought out villain. Someone who really makes a reader want to tear their fucking hair out because of their vile actions in the book.

I wished the author could have wrote a little more about Nikolai and Vika’s relationship with each other.
Maybe like..a ‘ten years later’ thing? Idk.
About 7/8 of the book..was pure agony and torture to my mind. It took me about 3 weeks to get through it.
And that remaining 1/8 was a slight disappointment as well. I personally found the way that Vika broke Nikolai’s evilness a little confusing.
And what happens after that? I’m left with a single page about the two of them smiling at each other.
And bam.
The end.

For a romance freak like me, I would’ve wished to read a little more about the love between the two rather than them fighting each other throughout this whole damn book.

The plot was splendid. A magical world that no one knows of except a few select people.
And it takes place in Russia! So, it’s a good scenery change.
If you are a lover of Russia, and magic, as well as a more toned down romance, this is my rec for ya.
Profile Image for Constantine.
836 reviews136 followers
January 28, 2023
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Young Adult + Fantasy

The Crown's Fate is the sequel to "The Crown's Game" and the second book in the duology.
This sequel starts after the Crown Game has ended. During this time, Vika is still upset about the death of her best friend and fellow enchanter, and she is tormented by guilt over what she did to cause his death. Pasha, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about his new power and is having trouble keeping his growing ambition in check.

In "The Crown's Fate," Vika and Nikolai are at odds with each other because they have very different experiences and points of view. Vika's great sense of duty and responsibility is what drives her, despite the fact that she hails from a less privileged upbringing. She feels very loyal to the Tsar and to Russia as a whole, and she is willing to give up things in order to keep the Russian Empire going. Nikolai, on the other hand, is motivated by ambition and a thirst for power that were influenced by his mother. He is determined to do whatever it takes to accomplish what he has set out to do, even if it means betraying the people who are closest to him.

Nikolai's mother is a strong, driven woman who has had a big impact on her son's life. She is portrayed as a key figure in his life because of this. She is, in my opinion, the most engaging of all the characters in the book. One of the most exciting moments in this sequel is when she goes head-to-head against Galina. She is very loyal to Nikolai and is willing to do whatever it takes to help him reach his goals, even if it means making tough and unforgiving choices. Nikolai's relationship with his mother is complicated and shaped greatly by the fact that she is determined to get her revenge. The story goes into detail about their complicated relationship and focuses on how Nikolai's mother's goals affect her son's choices, which in turn affect the empire's future.

This sequel was, in general, enjoyable, although it did have a few problems. Although it continued the tale that was started in the previous book and had some fascinating turns in the storyline, it did not quite come up to the standards that were established by the first book. One of the most significant problems that I had with the novel was the manner in which several of the characters began to act differently. The progression of both Yuliana and Nikolai's mother felt erratic and, at times, unreal. This was especially true for Yuliana.

I found it especially hard to understand how Yuliana changed in the last few pages of the book. It seemed forced and unnatural how quickly her demeanor and outlook changed all of a sudden. It was sad to see her character, who had been so strong and determined throughout the story, suddenly become weak and submissive. The conclusion of the book didn't have the same power or emotional effect that the previous book had since it was too easy to guess what would happen. After the largely satisfying conclusion of the first book, this one was a little bit of a letdown.
Profile Image for Kerri.
Author 17 books24k followers
June 15, 2017
i'm convinced this book is filled all the magic in the world. I LOVED IT!!!
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
August 17, 2020
I was postponing reading The Crown’s Fate for as long as I could trying to save it for a special occasion but I just couldn’t hold back any longer. I have to know what happens to Nikkolai and Vika. And boy, did I get even more than I was expecting for.

The story has become darker, more exciting, more magical and denser in plot. I love the premise that Nikkolai and Vika have to once again battle against each other and how for some reason, there is always a barrier between the two of them getting together. It’s seriously a huge fuel for my appetite for hopeless romance. Lol.

Also, I just have to say that there is just this beautiful, effortless fluidity in Ms. Skye’s writing allowing me to devour the book so quickly just like I did with the first book. Despite the deliberate and elaborate unveiling of the turning point, it was still fast-paced. I think the short chapters contributed in making the reader feel like it’s a quick read. The vivid descriptions make the story really tasteful. (I.e. Aizhana’s appearance will make you shudder. Even from the first book. She’s so creepy. Thanks to the author’s specific and imaginative description of her grotesque image even though I’m a little saddened of her un-glamorous demise.)

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to know what is going to happen not only to Vika and Nikkolai but to Pasha and even Yuliana as well and the fate of Russia itself. It is a thrilling, adventurous, magical and fantastic read and I happily report that even though it is not perfect because I feel like I was still left wanting, the ending to this duology is still definitely very, very satisfactory.
Profile Image for ♛ Garima ♛.
894 reviews178 followers
May 27, 2017
Note: This is not an actual review...just my disappointment in excessive gifs
You have been warned

I loved this until 20% and then

I was wanting something to be happening....and then

this is me at 80%

So basically if want some book just to be over with...well let me tell you, it's not a good book o_O

And there is going to be #3, #3? about what? I can't even think....

Profile Image for - ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads).
257 reviews93 followers
June 3, 2018
. : ☾⋆ — 2.5 ★

hello disappointment my old friend :(

this is one of those rare instances where the series would’ve been infinitely better as a stand-alone. i gotta say that there is no doubt in my heart that the first book was considerably better than this one, and the crown’s game is for SURE one of my best reads this year, and even though the crown’s fate wasn’t actually that bad......... it just didn’t live up to the first book. at all.

i’m gonna give this review the good old “what i liked/what i didn’t like” format because since it’s a sequel i don’t think there really is much to talk about??? anyway.


● nikolai: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO NIKOLAI IN THIS BOOK?????? he was so intensely out of character the entire time!!! i know he was “supposed” to be like that but????? literally zero character development. no offense evelyn skye u know i love u but all we got was a half-assed plot at nikolai becoming a villain (because of aizhana???? what???? he didn’t even like his mom in the first book fkjdkdk i’ll talk about aizhana in a minute) but like anyway what was even nikolai’s purpose in this book i don’t understand

● well developed love triangle turning into shitty love triangle: do i even have to elaborate like??? the way the crown’s game finished off gave us PLENTY of room to develop one side of the love triangle that hadn’t really been touched on before (vika/pasha or EVEN PASHA/NIKOLAI COME TO THINK OF IT) and like???? the whole book vika was like “no pasha i hate u >:(” even though pasha clearly only wants the best for vika and then evil!nikolai comes around and vika is like “pasha i know i’m sworn to protect u but i love nikolai more bye xx” and just... .......... vika wasn’t like that you guys. also that ending????? ohhh booo hoooooo the moment the female individual is hurt the two male individuals stop fighting and make up :)) NO. NOOOOOO. NO. no. no no no no. no. bye.

● audiobook narrator: probably the worst audiobook narrator i’ve ever encountered, not gonna lie. this guy FOR SURE lied on his resume and was like “i can do a whole lotta accents!!!” and whoever produced this audiobook went up to this guy and said “hey can you do a russian accent” and the guy went “uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh y.. .ye ah..... sur...e” and then he did this weird mix of african accent with harsh r’s??? it only sounded vaguely like a russian accent in this one scene in a pub and yet.............. no one thought to tell this guy “hey. maybe you should do the whole book like that, not just that one scene” anyway that was annoying i never want to listen to this guy in an audiobook ever again

● not enough ludmila: DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN!!!!! NOT ENOUGH LUDMILA!!!!!!!!!!

● renata and aizhana: i don’t mean to offend anyone but what was the purpose of renata and aizhana in this book other than to fawn over nikolai and bring up vaguely irrelevant plot points to the story????? like literally that was all they did. they just melted whenever nikolai looked their way + were irrelevant. bye.


● vibe: the vibe these books give off is so specific and particular to these characters and this world and i loved it the first time around, definitely loved it this time. it’s such an easy world to dive into and even though there wasn’t much world building on this one, it absolutely stayed true to the first book talking about aesthetic and vibe. i don’t really know how to explain it, but yeah.


● non-fiction/fiction: even though the crown’s game is clearly based around a fictionalized version of imperial russia, there’s this thing the book does where it very vaguely starts to thread things from real russian history into this fabricated version of the country. real situations turn into slightly fictionalized ones that fit perfectly into the mold of historical fiction and yet they stray enough from reality so that they fit around the story in a flawless way. perfect example of this: the imperial enchanters and rasputin. nikolai’s constitution and the russian revolution. evelyn skye had a way of incorporating these into the story in a beautifully masterful way.


SO. tldr. book one was considerably better and this should’ve stayed a stand alone!!!!! later!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Suzzie.
908 reviews164 followers
May 29, 2017
I loved the first book of this series very much so I was so excited to read the second. Unfortunately I found I wasn't as into this installment as I was the first. The author is so creative and the writing is fantastic so I will read any book she releases. I am not sure if this was the finale because I do not know if it was a duology or trilogy. If it were a duology than the finale wrapped things up rather nicely.
Profile Image for Fictional World Dreamer.
189 reviews66 followers
February 22, 2019
Ah man! I really wanted to love this book. I really did, I loved The Crown’s Game, I have anticipated this book since last year. I feel conflicted about the ending, I feel like the message is just wrong.
I mean, I get it! You have to forgive but holy crap dude. NOT after what went down. There are just certain things that can’t be forgiven and repercussions have to be taken.

The Crown's Fate was a good story to a point, for me. In all seriousness, this book could've ended at the half point. There were some things that I felt were just thrown into the story just for filler.
Like, there’s this certain part that I thought was a mistake. Which wasn't, but I was confused the whole time while reading it, because it wasn't explained and when it was it was so vague and quick.
I also felt like there really wasn't’ a lot of magic happening in this story. It was basically parties, falling petals in the sky and characters dealing with their feels.

Some of the characters involved throughout the book I really can’t go into or I’ll give stuff away. But some grow and learn about themselves, Others finally reveal who they truly felt about others, which I was total surprise about. But one character, I felt didn't get a great ending, I felt that this person was forced into doing what they did because they were scared and manipulated, I felt it was unsolved and wished there was more to that character.

The plot was engaging at points. I felt the story was only plot-driven because I was eager and wanted to see where the whole plot was going. But to be fair, It was a bit disappointing.
I guess I was looking for more magic, war and even revenge maybe? It was a slow, sad and at times boring read.

For myself, the ending wasn't satisfying, I feel like the ending was quickly wrapped up. When throughout the whole story it was being built up to finally have a mediocre ending. (ran out of steam) Like I said above what happens at the end shouldn’t have been justified. I feel like this book is basically saying. No matter what bad things you do in life. It’s ok, you can be forgiving and everything will be ok.
Well, you know what in certain books sure, I love that message.(depending on the situation) However, this particular story no. I just can’t agree with it, I can't recommend this book to my students there's just no way. I'm basically approving the message and I'm not comfortable with that.

UPDATE 3/17:
I just finished the duology anndddd the verdict is in :/
The end has come and I feel meh about it.
It was a good story, however, I feel a bit conflicted about how certain things were solved. Which left me a bit perplexed.
I'm going to sit back and let my feelings simmer for a bit on this one. Before I can actually review it.
Stay tuned ;)
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
282 reviews419 followers
May 6, 2021
Sooo I was so busy I completely forgot I never reviewed this. I will try to now, but it probably won't be as good since it has been so long.

I had low expectations before reading this because I saw so many mixed reviews. BUT I was completely engaged with the story. All I wanted to do was read this, and considering I didn't have a lot of free time lately, I read it really fast.

However, this book is definitely not as good as the first. I still stand by what I said in my review of the first book, where I said it could have been a standalone. I feel like what happened in this one was kind of unnecessary, but I still enjoyed it.

I liked the characters just as much as the first book, and I was sad to have to see them go now that I've finished the series. Even Pasha and his sister were more tolerable in this book.

Something that did annoy me a little bit was that the magic was just too limitless. They could basically do and make anything. It just made it feel like every problem could be easily resolved (which it kind of was). I wish there were more limits on their powers. There were a couple of things they couldn't do, but it made me question why? Because if you're can do everything else, why all of a sudden can you not do this. It just made it feel like everything was too easy.

Overall, it was not the best sequel, but I still really enjoyed this. I can't wait to pick up more of Evelyn Skye's books!
Profile Image for — Massiel.
244 reviews1,141 followers
July 2, 2018
buddy read with original buddy Majo

Spoilers del primer y segundo libro

Voy a ser completamente honesta aquí, tenía bastante expectativas con esta duología porque:
1. Las portadas son hermosas, no mentiré aquí, soy jodidamente hermosas.
2. No he leído nada sobre Rusia desde que leí Shadow and Bone, así que me sorprendió y motivó para leer este libro.

Pero lo que más me sorprendió de esta duología es saber que son tan malos. Creía que el segundo libro no podría ser peor que el primero pero lo es, créanme. Es bastante malo.

El trama.
¿Hay algún trama en este libro?
No, en serio, ¿hay alguno? Esta autora saca las cosas desde de la nada y no tengo problema con eso, tengo problema con que no explique nada de dónde lo saca, o sea, WTF ???? Evelyn solamente pone lo cree y lo deja así y lo sigue así para colmo. Este libro es tan estúpido.

Para comenzar, vamos desde el primer libro.
1. La competencia de Vika y Nikolai fue la cosa más estúpida y sin sentido que he leído. Le dan siete jugadas para decidir el ganador y en la primera jugada Nikolai lo que hace es pintar las calles y edificios de la ciudad...

Y luego Vika contraataca creando una especie de estatua de hielo y luego para ser totalmente badass pinta las aguas de colores -oh, wow, denle el premio ya-.

Pero lo más estúpido de todo es que aunque hacen todos estos trucos de magia al frente de la gente, aún así la gente no cree en la magia. ¿?¿?¿?

Para resumir esto: Vika y Nikolai siguieron haciendo estúpidos trucos hasta que -sorpresa- Nikolai comienza a sentir sentimientos por Vika, y no solamente él, también Pasha -el futuro zar de Rusia, que es más irresponsable y estúpido que nunca-. Lo que me dio más risa de todo esto es que literal, Vika en el primer y segundo libro nunca se decide con quién quiere estar, así que juega con ambos y al final se hace la víctima ¿?¿?¿?

Tips de cómo tener a dos chicos rendidos por ti y hacerlos enemigos por Vika Andreyeva
1. Cuando te reúnas con ambos chicos reclama que no eres de nadie para que te reclamen.
2. Cuando estés con uno de los chicos habla del otro para que crean que estás enamorada del otro y así se pelean mutuamente por ti.
3. Coquetea con ambos chicos (obviamente a solas) para que así puedan morir por ti.

Al final de todo, Nikolai da la vida por Vika -EL HÉROE EN TODO ESTO-, Pasha se siente culpable por haber mandado a los dos a matarse entre sí -¿En serio? ¿Solamente porque querías a Vika para ti solo la solución más fácil fue esa? ¿?¿?, y Vika al final culpa a Pasha pero sigue pensando en ambos ¿?¿?¿?

Lo que más me molesta de todos estos libros no es el estúpido-sin-sentido-romance que hace la autora es que ella pone cosas que no tienen sentido y las dejas, vamos a enumerarlas:
1. La madre de Nikolai. O sea, WTF DUDE? Traes a un personaje de la nada sin historia, sin nada, totalmente loca para que mate a varios personajes y todo porque quiere proclamar el amor de su hijo cuando lleva muerta ¿cuántos años? ¿20? ¿?¿?¿?
2. La muerte de Serguei y Galina. Estas muertes fueron las que menos sentido tuvieron, mejor la autora no inventaba estos personajes y hubiera sido mejor.
3. La "rebelión". Este creo que ha sido la cosa más estúpida que he leído. La autora literal, mete una rebelión desde el primer libro pero NO EXPLICA NADA. Solamente pone -literal- "Hay una rebelión y tenemos que detenerla", pero no pone porqué, la historia, ni siquiera pone personajes que expliquen lo que está pasando en dicha rebelión ¿?¿?¿? ¿?¿?¿? ¿?¿?¿? pero en el segundo libro mete de la nada a un personaje -Ilia- que es parte de la rebelión pero este igual NO EXPLICA NADA, solamente se la pasa persiguiendo a Pasha y no sabe si retirarse de la rebelión o traicionar a Pasha ¿?¿?¿?

Aquí no termina todo.

4. Nikolai se vuelve el típico villano que ensucia las calles como venganza por lo que hizo Pasha -no estoy mintiendo, eso fue lo que hizo-. Y Pasha va y come algo que preparó Nikolai -OJO- algo que preparó Nikolai y se envenena.

Después de Vika persiguiendo a Nikolai y puro relleno -unas 200 páginas creo-. Comienza la "pelea" final y Vika se lastima su brazo y la guerra se detiene LITERAL. Así que como Vika se lastimó su querido brazo y la guerra se detiene, Nikolai decide dejar de ser el villano y regresa a ser bueno y Pasha se da cuenta que Nikolai y Vika deben estar juntos porque son magos. Así que les da su permiso y quedan juntos ellos dos.




PD2: No pienso leer nada de esta autora, nunca.
PD3: Tengo muchas cosas que decir aún pero estoy cansada de desperdiciar mi tiempo escribiendo.
PD4: Lamento tanto haber desperdiciado tantos días leyendo estos dos libros cuando pude haber leído otros. Lo siento cabeza y ojos.
Profile Image for Jiana.
296 reviews818 followers
February 24, 2019
I've heard a lot of negative comments about this book before I started it. As such, I started it with pretty much no expectations although I really enjoyed the first book in the duology. Basically, I don't think this book is as bad as everyone made it out to be. Actually, it's not bad at all. It's just not great either.

It was underwhelming.

The writing was great and it was easy to fly through. The plot changed direction, not in a bad way though and the book had a dark feeling to it. There was action and drama. However, I didn't feel hooked at all. I enjoyed it so some extent, but it just isn't a memorable book at all. All the elements that were there in the first book, Russia, love triangle, magic..., are still there in this book. The magic was still pretty great.

In the first book, I fell for Pasha quite easily. In this book, I lost interest in him. I lost interest in everyone to be honest. Maybe they weren't recognizable anymore? I don't know.

Anyway, I'm glad I finally got around to reading it as I've been procrastinating since January 2017.
Profile Image for Sandra (LadyGrey Reads).
591 reviews91 followers
May 31, 2017
"But what about family? And friendship? I think we've been blind to the importance of those."

So yeah; this wasn't the best read. I didn't enjoy the first book that much either, honestly, but it was definitely the better of the two and I would have preferred if it remained a standalone. This felt as if some people complained about Nikolai's death in the first novel and the author gave in and decided to bring him back. Which only caused trouble.

I would actually have enjoyed the story more if

I still enjoyed the setting and the magic and mythology. Hence why I still gave this 2 stars instead of just 1.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,006 reviews3,616 followers
May 14, 2017
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

I have no idea what to say about The Crown’s Fate other than the fact that the first book was better. This is one of those books where I didn’t take much in, because the plot didn’t keep me interested. I wasn’t sure where they were going with things, and I felt like the conflict was only brought up later in the book.

There’s a lot of filler here as the characters wallow around, Vika complaining about why she can’t use her magic as freely as she thought and Nikolai as a literal shade of his former self. The characters felt bland and I didn’t really care for them. There’s also a lot of repetition, as we’re constantly told that Nik is darker and he shows it in a variety of ways. It’s also made up of a lot of redundant point of views that don’t really come to anything, such as Renata’s point of view which I felt was added in to pad out the story.

I enjoyed the Imperial Russian fantasy setting as usual, as Pasha is preparing for his coronation as the Tsar and the manipulative, cunning Yuliana does everything in her power to make sure it stays that way. She’s probably the most interesting character of the lot, as a ruthless Princess who is well respected and feared by many. The detail when it comes to the Imperial setting, the dances, the finery and the food was definitely still here, making me crave borscht and pastries that were so finely described.

The magic tricks and the enchanting were as magical as usual, although I felt like some of the tricks were recycled that we had seen in the first book, such as the Jack in the Box appearing in the town square. I enjoyed Nikolai being in the darker dimension and dealing with his evil/misunderstood mother Aizhana and coming to terms with the consequences of her actions.

While I enjoyed the Imperial Russian fantasy setting in The Crown’s Fate, and the displays of magic, food and finery, I felt like it had a lot of filler and repetition with bland character perspectives. I felt like it would’ve been a much more interesting book if it was shorter. The ending was also rushed and too easily resolved, but I’m glad that it tied up the duology.

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ishmeen.
380 reviews153 followers
April 24, 2018
3.5/5 🌟 As much as I enjoyed reading about these characters once again, I was expecting something more spectacular and mind-blowing like the first book. The second half of the book was much more eventful and interesting to actually read about than the first and the ending gave me all the feels but I wish I would have experienced more of those in the rest of the book too :/ BUT I am so so happy with the way it ended and the relationships and the joy this series brought me that I’d definitely recommended it to fantasy lovers looking for a dash of something new 👏🏼
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