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The Chalice and the Crown

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Driven, talented, and determined to live up to her family's fame, Sasha Nikolayeva is ballet’s crown princess. But just when Sasha lands her most prestigious role yet, she falls prey to a host of disturbing neurological symptoms that threaten to end her career and her very life. As her mind and body deteriorate, Sasha spirals into a nightmare world where beauty and cruelty ...more
ebook, 364 pages
Published June 5th 2020
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-reviews, fantasy, ya

This was a hauntingly dark book that had me guessing a lot of the time. I am a fan of dark fantasy and this was probably some of the darkest I have read in a long time.

"Something dark, something dangerous has been stalking me from the shadows of sleep and it's getting closer"
- Sasha


Premise: Sasha is a ballerina who suffers from nightmares. But the nightmares become increasingly real and soon she is pulled
May 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca | Velvet Opus
The Chalice and the Crown is a divine dark ballet fantasy that blurs the lines between magic and madness. See the author interview on Velvet Opus!

Inspired by a dream, The Chalice and the Crown follows Sasha, a Russian ballerina, as she takes the stage in her biggest role yet: as the prima ballerina in a performance of Swan Lake. Then the nightmares start. Nightmarish hallucinations that take her out of her body, and mind, into a world she's never seen before. Her body and mind deteriorating, she
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Chalice and the Crown started off on an interesting note. In it, you will meet Sasha. She is a Russian ballerina who is dealing with the usual things in life: stress, nightmares, and her grandmother is dying. Her dream is to be in the performance of Swan Lake but her spot in the show comes at a price.

Ever since she started practicing for the show, her nightmares started and increased. She sometimes even jumps into a hal
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
A dream nightmare world and ballet fantasy?
I'm in;D
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

See original review for GIFs!

The Chalice and the Crown by Kassandra Flamouri is not a typical YA fantasy. It's dark, it's gritty, it's triggering. It considers some pretty timely themes about racism, classism, and mental illness. It contains animal cruelty and sadistic villains and some p
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review on my blog:

4.75 / 5 stars

Imagine yourself living in the world where your nightmares are your real life and you can’t wake up from them.

This book truly blew my mind. I started reading it not really knowing what’s it about. I thought it was ballet and at the beginning it reminded me a lot of Black Swan (the movie I absolutely love) both because of the bal
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Sasha Nikolayeva is a young talented and determined ballet protégé. As she prepares for the role of Odette, a performance that is to change her life and future, her family history of madness and neurological disturbances catch up to her until her mind and body deteriorate to the point where she risks losing not only her career but also her life.

Waking up in the land of her repeated nightmares, Sasha finds herself a thrall, a being less than slave, a pet to be used for her life force for the com
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sasha is a starring ballerina with a wonderful career ahead of her, until she falls ill. She thinks she's going mad and suffering the same illness which took her mother. The visions Sasha sees turn into another world where she is nothing more than a mindless slave. There she finds out there was more to her mother's death than she ever imagined.
The book was very heartfelt and emotional. The descriptions of Sasha's dancing were very evocative and immersive and sounded so beautiful. I really liked
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

It took a great while for me to get into this book. That mostly had to do with the pace being not exactly slow, but ... It is so dense with worldbuilding and such that while I read about a fifth of the book in one go, once I put it down because dinner happened, I had a hard time coming back to it. I also didn't like Sasha that much. She came across as very privileged and sheltered, and snobby about that, although I do realiz
Kassandra Flamouri
Apr 23, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

"I promised myself that if Cimari touched me again, I would kill her...and I always keep my promises."


“The legends say that in the earliest days, we lived and died in darkness and despair.” Luca’s voice tickles my ear, and, though he drops his hand, he stays close. “Farmers toiled in the fields without respite, never tasting the fruits of their labor. Blacksmiths forged tools and weapons, never toys or lovers’ trinkets. Housewives gave birth to children who grew too quickly in
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A spine-tingling debut novel that marries magic and madness, creating a strange and dark young adult portal fantasy mystery to challenge your senses.

We follow a girl named Sahsa, a ballet dancer with the weight of familial expectations upon her, who suffers from nightmares. Chilling visions of being treated cruelly, beaten, bound, speechless in slavery. Gradually the nightmares take over her waking mind, and it's only when she fully awakens inside the nightmare that things begin to make sense.
Paige Green
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the tour company. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Chalice and the Crown

Author: Kassandra Flamouri

Book Series: Standalone?

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For...: Magic, Rebellion

Publication Date: June 5, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: 17+ (violence, assault, slavery, death, sexual abuse TW, physical abuse TW)

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 364

Synopsis: Driven, talented, and determined to live up to her family's fame, Sasha Nikolayeva is ballet’s crown
Ani - Ani Reads
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book. This did not affect my review, all opinions are my own.

The Russian Sasha Nikolayeva is a talented ballerina, plagued by nightmares that seem so real it's like she's living them. Just as she lands a famous role in The Swan Lake, Sasha's nightmares become more common and she starts hallucinating. One day, she's fully sucked into her nightmare, a new fantasy world where she's a thrall without her memory. Can Sasha remember who she was and come back to reality?

Sofi Michael
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book came with my kindle unlimited so I wanted to check it out. When I judge the quality of a fantasy novel, I look for a strong storyline filled with real life human experiences veiled in the glamor of an alternate universe. I want fundamental elements in the plot that are meaningful enough to hold up even if the setting was more realistic than the imagined world the author created. When all the fantasy gloss is rubbed away, there should still be an interesting story underneath. This book ...more
Katie P.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸

The Chalice and The Crown is the debut YA fantasy from Kassandra Flamouri. This title is dazzling and oh so interesting!

This novel meld magic, madness, beauty, and visceral imagery into a cohesive narrative that is mind-bogglingly fantastic and dark! Immediately, I felt the influence of Black Swan, a ballerina falling into madness, but I absolutely felt for Sasha. Very quickly, the reader is introduced to the notion that Sasha's mother had been deali
• Sara
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chalize and the Crown tells the story of Sasha, a ballet dancer who suffers from awful nightmares that drag her into a world of violence and magic, and makes her slowly lose contact with reality.

Wow, that was incredible. I have no words.

It’s been a while since a read a book that left me in shock and sobbing. This story was so well written, so beautiful and raw and freaking interesting from page one. I couldn’t stop reading, it was THAT addictive. I love every character with my heart. What Sa
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: young-adult, 2020, fantasy
DNF at 58%

Many thanks to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for the ARC. This book was published on May 6 2020 and is now available for purchase.

The Chalice and the Crown is about Sasha, a rising ballet star drawn into a magical world when she sleeps. In this world, she is a thrall, a slave who has no memories and exists only to serve her mistress. As she is drawn further into this world, her body and mind back in her world rapidly decline. As she breaks her mindless thrall state, she also seeks a way
Jeannie Zelos
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
The Chalice and the Crown, Kassandra Flamouri

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy, Teens and YA

I'm way past the target age range, but reviews suggested that this book would still appeal and I've loved other fantasy reads aimed at this age group. Sadly I'm on the fence about this one.

I really liked the sound of this, a very different fantasy read and was excited to start. I found Sasha hard to like though, she's really not a particularly nice girl to those around her.
Moondust Moth
The Chalice and the Crown is about a Russian teenage girl Sasha, a gifted ballerina who begins to lose touch with reality, perhaps due to a genetic condition only exacerbated by the trauma of losing a loved one. I'd say in concept this is a blend between the films Black Swan and Sucker Punch, but not nearly as exciting or impactful. Overall, I'd consider this magical realism with the focus on mental health, and perhaps existential philosophy considering the shift in story.

Her symptoms are very a
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When starting off the book, you (the reader) are put into a world that is normal, filled with ballet. Yet, the main character starts to experience weird things, things that her own mother faced and died with causing for her to freak out as she doesn't want to deal with the same fate all with watching over her own grandmother as her health goes down. But that's not the best part about the book. It moves from a regular human world to one of fantasy and light and magic and a kingdom and don't forge ...more
Susana Zemlyakova
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Chalice and the Crown is a wonderful, YA fantasy novel for fans of Danielle Jensen's Malediction Trilogy and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. While the method of transportation to the City of Roses is similar to Carroll's Alice, that is really where the similarities end.

Sasha is a young, Russian prima ballerina. Like many ballerina's she is obsessed with perfecting her craft and because of this her health suffers. She is plagued by nightmares of a distant land where she is a
Annette Jordan
Kassandra Flamouri's impressive debut " The Chalice and the Crown " is a gritty and dark fantasy that is not for the faint of heart. The story follows talented ballerina Sasha, who we meet as she has just landed her most prestigious role to date. Her life seems to be almost perfect until she starts to experience strange dreams and hallucinations. Eventually she lapses into a coma like state , leaving her worried family and friends to sit by her bedside and hope that she will awaken. Meanwhile in ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Wow. This book took me on a wild ride. I went into this book not knowing what to expect.

The Chalice and the Crown is a book that gets very dark at times. Our main character is Sasha Nikolayeva, a ballerina following in her Mother, and Grandmothers footsteps. She has been chosen to be the lead in Swan Lake, and as pressure builds we see a bit of Black Swan style psychological pressure, as Sasha’s mind starts to unravel she strugg
Deborah Marie
The Chalice and the Crown is a dark, nitty gritty novel that explores some pretty timely themes about things such as racism, classism, bigotry, abuse, and can at times be triggering, due to the darkness of the content.

This book reminded me a lot of the movie Black Swan (although it differs in many ways of course) as its a dark story centered around a ballerina.

This story is about a girl named Sasha who is a ballerina who suffers from nightmares. The nightmares become increasingly real and soon
Alysse Stehli
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a dark fantasy that was more than I was expecting. I really enjoyed it, and I think the author did a good job of balancing the hard topics included to not be overwhelming. That said, the trigger warnings in the beginning of this book are there for a reason - there are some difficult topics and scenes explored.

I found Sasha's character very well developed, and the way she reacted to challenges very human. The author clearly has knowledge of ballet and Russian history (I liked the inc
Mária Piatková
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is very hard to put my thoughts on this book together. Confusing. Gripping. Tension. Those are a few attributes that come to my mind.

The story follows young girl aspiring to become a famous ballet dancer as she prepares for her first performance as a prima ballerina in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. However, she keeps getting haunted by those recurring dreams. They start following her even when she is not sleeping. In the beginning, you think she suffers some mental health problems, it really look
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PJ Alexander
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story Kassandra has crafted. It's the perfect follow up to her short story collection (The Fruit of our Thorns). Like many of those tales, The Chalice and the Crown is deliciously dark, and Kassandra's vivid imagery brings this haunting story to life. It's the perfect book for curling up with every night and getting lost inside.

As a protagonist, Sasha was immediately relatable, and the story got even better once she entered the world of Dreamwhispers, Catchsongs, and Honeytongue
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it

First read of mine for this author. A young girl raised by her famous ballerina grandmother wants nothing other than to follow in her footsteps. It looks like she’s on her way but is having vivid hallucinatory dreams which seem to invade her waking hours. She doesn’t really remember her mother but finds that similar events had happened to her and she was institutionalized.

Sasha takes us through her struggle to be a prima-ballerina and her struggle to deal with an ongoing dream/hallucination whi
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